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SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 29th Week of the Year, October 22, 2012
Eph. 2:1-10, Ps. 99, Luke 12:13-21


"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV).


Here we are hearing the very heart of the gospel message-the proclamation of God's salvation in Jesus Christ for sinners who can in no way merit or earn their salvation by their good works. It is a free gift of God given to us through the cross of Jesus Christ, when we believe in him. We need to hear this ever anew and put it at the very center of our faith and preaching. Only by doing this will our evangelization and the New Evangelization have an effect. "And you he made alive when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked" (Eph. 2:1-2). God did this for us when we were unable to do anything for ourselves to gain this salvation. We did no good work to earn this. It was a free gift of the love and kindness of God. This is what we are to proclaim from the housetops. This is the message of salvation that God sent to the world in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


God "even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Eph. 2:5). By grace, as a gift, gratuitously, without works, we are saved by faith, through the cross of Christ. This is how God justifies the ungodly in Jesus Christ and makes them resplendent and holy in his sight. "To one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (Rom. 4:5). We "are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24). God wants this gift to be known by all, and so he sends us out to proclaim it (Matt. 28:19-20). Hence it is of great importance that we preach this salvation to the ends of the earth, to all peoples, so that all may hear it and have the opportunity to believe in it for their salvation in this life and the next. It is the mission of the Church to proclaim this salvation to all peoples. This is the very heart of evangelization and of the New Evangelization.


"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law" (Rom. 3:28 NKJV). "Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1). With St. Paul I too want to "be found in him [Christ], not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith" (Phil. 3:9). Indeed, "a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified" (Gal. 2:16). "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy" (Titus 3:4-5)


Christ saved us gratuitously, without our works, when he died on the cross for our sins in order to pay the price for them with his blood. Therefore "in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7). He makes us new men by his cross through our faith in him (Eph. 4:22-24). Indeed "by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV).

 

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