Wednesday, May 7, 2014

“People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.”

Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:

When God touches man's heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight. – (1993) Catechism of the Catholic Church

Gospel Text: (JN 6:35-40)
Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Today’s Gospel at Mass is among the most joyous. As a child I used to wonder about the disciples. Jesus would speak to them and say essentially, “I’m going to rise from the dead” and the Gospel reading would end with something to the effect of that; the disciples didn’t get it. I used to think: “Were they dense? How could they not get it? He’s telling them exactly what’s going to happen.”

But they weren’t dense. Today’s Gospel recounts the joyful, wondrous and miraculous nature of Jesus’ triumph over death. I’m not sure I would have gotten it until it happened. But then it happened.

Just like 2000 years ago with the first disciples, Jesus is telling us exactly what’s going to happen too. The rest is up to us, our will and God’s grace working together in tandem in our daily lives. Then and only then “shall we be raised on the last day”.

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