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SPANISH VERSION »
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 2014
Zech. 2:10-13 (14-17), Judith 13, Luke 1:26-38


Scripture quotations are from the RSV unless otherwise noted.

 

"And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy. The Son of God'" (Luke 1:35).


The Virgin Mary is the mother of God. Her Son, Jesus Christ, is the Son of the Father from all eternity, equal in substance and essence with the Father, God as the Father is God, one being with the Father, but a distinct person from him. Mary gave birth to him as a man, but he always existed as the Son of God in the splendor of the bosom of the Father. Then, in the fullness of time, the Father sent his Son to become incarnate in the womb of a virgin, Mary; and she conceived him virginally, without male seed, by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:27, 34-35; Matt. 1:18, 20, 25), and gave birth to him as a man, naming him Jesus. From the first moment of his conception in Mary's womb, he was a true man and the one true God, a God-man, a man who is God.


The Father sent his Son to become incarnate as a man to save us from our sins. He was sent into the world in this way by the Father as the Savior of the world. An angel explained to Joseph, her betrothed, before they had come together to live as man and wife (Matt. 1:18), that "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" and that "she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:20-21).


Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. Only through him does the Father forgive the sins of the world. There is no one else that does this. It was for this reason that Jesus Christ was sent into the world. He saved us from our sins by his death on the cross, because his death on a cross as a criminal being punished was the death of the divine Son of God himself. God became incarnate in this way to be able to die in punishment for the sins of the world.


There are three distinct persons in the one God, and one of these three, incarnate as a man, died in punishment for our sins. At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation of God on earth as a man to be our Savior. In him, and only in him, is there salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. "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). And Jesus himself said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).


Only Jesus Christ bore the sins of the world in the flesh of his body (Rom. 8:3; 1 Pet. 2:14) on the cross and suffered God's punishment for them in his own flesh to make reparation for them. God condemned and punished our sins in his flesh instead of in us, thus fulfilling on our behalf the just requirement of the law (Rom. 8:4), namely that we die for our sins (Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:20).


It is the mission of the Church, given to her by the risen Christ (Matt. 28:19-20), to proclaim this message of salvation to all the peoples of the world to invite them to put their faith in Jesus Christ in order to experience salvation, forgiveness, and liberation from their sins, have a new life in God, and a clear and sure hope for eternal life in the light with God after death. This mission is one of liberation from despair, fear of death, and guilt for our sins; and it gives us new hope and a new life in God.

 

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