Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

What is the essence of our faith? In one or two sentences what is the central point of Christianity? May I propose John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” This is the Gospel from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Lesson One: all of this (religion) is about love. It starts with love, ends with love and demands us to love.
What does love look like? It looks like a man dying on a cross. But, in our lives we can get very confused about what love looks like in particular and concrete situations.
Lesson Two: this love seeks to save us from ourselves; from our selfishness, our self-indulgence, our self-deception. Love, which is God, desires our salvation. That is why He sent the Son; not so He could smite all of those who reject the Son. Is it possible for someone to not be saved? Of course, but God’s desire is to save us all.
Lesson Three: the world will be saved through Him, the Son. Specifically, our salvation is possible because Jesus paid the debt for our sins. He finished this paying as He died on the cross. People of my generation will recall the phrase from a commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
That was us. We had fallen and could not pick ourselves up. God had to do it, but it had to be a man too. Thus the Incarnation.
Everything else about our faith is an expounding upon this or these truths. All of the Church’s moral theology, all of our devotions, all of everything boils down to this verse.
Maybe we should stop worrying about knowing everything and share this Good news! We don’t need to have all of the answers. We just need this simple lesson and the courage to proclaim it!
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at parensberg@mobarch.org
For more information concerning the events of this office, visit us at mobilefaithformation.org

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