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WE ARE TO LIVE FOR THE LORD
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Thursday, 31st Week of the Year, November 07, 2013
Rom. 14:7-12, Ps. 26, Luke 15:1-10


"None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's" (Rom. 14:7-9).


Christ died and rose from the dead "that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living" (Rom. 14:9). He died to ransom us from eternal death for our sins and to give us a new life by being himself the ransom price to redeem us from our sins and from eternal death as their punishment in order to restore us to God's grace. He did this by dying instead of us for our sins, for death is the punishment for sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-20). He thus vanquished our punishment of eternal death for our sins and satisfied God's justice for them, making just reparation for them by his death on the cross. When we put saving faith in him, this is applied personally to us, justifying us, making us righteous and resplendent in his sight.


Therefore those who believe in Christ belong to him, living a new life in him in the light of his resurrection. Henceforth we are to live and die no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose for us. Without him we would not have a new life in God but would inherit eternal death for our sins. He rescued us from this by his death so that henceforth we might live for him, not for ourselves and our own pleasures. "He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Cor. 5:15).


To live for Christ is to stop living for ourselves and our own pleasures. It is to lose our life in this world for love of him, and not try to save it in a worldly way (Mark 8:35). To live for Christ is to hate our life in this world for love of him, not to love it in a worldly sense, for "he who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:25).


We are therefore to die to this world for the sake of Christ, and live not for our own pleasures but only for him who died and rose for us. "For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died" (2 Cor. 5:14). Because he died for us, rescuing us from our sins, guilt, and eternal death for our sins, we who believe in him die now to the world and to ourselves to live henceforth no longer for ourselves and our own pleasures but only for him who died and rose for us. "Because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died" (2 Cor. 5:14). All die to the world and to themselves to live for him, because he saved us by his death for us.


This means that we are now to live in a new way in this world, in a way very different from the secularized culture around us. Those who are redeemed by him renounce the lifestyle of the world to live henceforth only for him who died and rose for them.

 

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