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IN NO ONE ELSE IS THERE SALVATION
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, within the Octave of Easter, April 25, 2014
Acts 4:1-12, Ps. 117, John 21:1-14


Scripture quotations are from the RSV unless otherwise noted.


"There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).


In God's mission in the world, through the mission of his incarnate Son, which reached its climax in his violent death on the cross for the sins of the world, God gave us forgiveness of our sins, justification, regeneration, and salvation, when we put our faith in Christ. There is no one else in whom there is salvation. All salvation comes to us by the death of the Son of God on the cross, through our faith in him. Therefore the risen Christ gave to his Church the mission to go into all the world and preach this good news, this gospel of God's salvation now available in Jesus Christ, and to invite all to be baptized (Matt. 28:19) and enter his Church for their salvation. This is God's plan and mission in the world, and it is also our mission in the world.


Although, following Vatican II (Lumen Gentium 16) and Pope John Paul II, we hope in the mercy of God for those who, through no fault of their own, have not yet heard of Christ, that they may, in a way known to God alone, come to a knowledge of Christ sufficient to have faith in him for their eternal salvation, our own mission is nonetheless clear. It is to proclaim with clarity that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), suffering for them (1 Pet. 2:24), bearing the punishment due for them instead of us (2 Cor. 5:21) to propitiate divine justice (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Heb. 2:17) and expiate our sins, freeing us from them and from the pain and sadness of guilt for having sinned. He gives us a clean and happy conscience, when we invoke the merits of his death in faith, confessing our sins (1 John 1:9), especially in the sacrament of reconciliation (John 20:22-23). Our mission also includes inviting all to believe in Christ, receive baptism (Matt. 28:19), and enter Christ's Church in order to live well their new life in Christ, with the support of all the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation (John 20:22-23), for the Church is the community willed and given to us by God to live well our new life in Christ in a sacramental way.


This is God's mission (missio Dei) in the world, Christ's mission, the Church's mission, and our mission. It is a redemption-centered mission. Although we do many charitable works (Matt. 25:31-46), the focus of our mission is the redemption of Jesus Christ for the good of our spirit now in this present life and in the life to come. This spiritual focus vastly improves the quality of our present human life and solves our greatest problem, the depression of spirit caused by guilt for having sinned, even in small things. Faith in Christ gives us great relief for this problem and gives us a new life in the light of Christ.


The heart, then, of our mission is to preach to the world this good news of salvation, forgiveness, justification, and regeneration by the death of the Son of God on the cross through our faith in him. Truly, "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12), for Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

 

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