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NEW MEN IN JESUS CHRIST
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Thursday, 29th Week of the Year, October 24, 2013
Rom. 6:19-23, Ps. 1, Luke 12:49-53


"I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification" (Rom. 6:19).


We now live a new life in Jesus Christ. We die to our old life and rise with Christ to a new life. His death frees us from sin and guilt by paying our debt of suffering in punishment for our sins, instead of us paying it. So through Christ's death, by our faith, we are made free, new men in Jesus Christ, a new creation. And as Christ rose from the dead, we too participate in his resurrection, living in the risen Christ, walking in the light of his resurrection with his righteousness shining within us, since we are now freed from our old sins and guilt. So does God make us new and righteous with the righteousness of Christ himself in us.


Let us therefore walk now in the newness of life. His death and resurrection have become our passage from death to life. "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).


We are therefore to live in a new way in this world, no longer serving sin, but serving righteousness. So it ought to be, for "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:24). So then "if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25). We can still sin. Therefore St. Paul tells us, "Walk by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25). That is, we have to make an effort not to sin, but rather to live according to the Spirit, crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24). We are not to imitate the lifestyle of the world, but rather walk in the Spirit. So "do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rom. 12:2).


Freed from our past sins and from the guilt connected with them by the death of Christ and walking now in the light of his resurrection, we have to make an effort not to fall back again into that from which Christ has freed us, for "those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 8:8). Their minds are set on sin. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live" (Rom. 8:13). "For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness" (1 Thess. 4:7). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).


Let us therefore change our way of living to live henceforth no longer as the world around us lives, but as the new creation that God has made us in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

 

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