daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 3rd Week of the Year, January 28, 2013
Heb. 9:15, 24-28, Ps. 97, Mark 3:22-30

"Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant" (Heb. 9:15).

Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from our sins and justify us, making us truly resplendent with the very splendor of the risen Christ's own righteousness shining within us. This is the salvation that Christ brought to the world by his incarnation, death, and resurrection. Right from the very beginning of the gospel we hear that Jesus saves us from our sins that debilitate and depress us. An angel told Joseph in a dream that Mary "will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). And St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3).

It is the death of Christ on the cross that frees us from our greatest enemy, sin and the resultant guilt, which depresses and debilitates our spirit, even in small things. God knows that what we most need is freedom from sin and the gift of justification, together with a participation in divine life that divinizes us and transforms us into a new creation. Christ did all this for us, and moreover he wants us to bring this good news, this gospel, to all the peoples and cultures of the world to enrich them and give them new life. They will benefit from this enrichment through their faith in Jesus Christ and through their participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation (John 20:23).

Today the Letter to the Hebrews says, "A death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant" (Heb. 9:15). It is through the death of Christ that this remission of sins comes to us. Through the Paschal Mystery we are redeemed from our sins. St. Paul says, "And you who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him" (Col. 1:21-22). It is through his death that we are made "holy and blameless and irreproachable." God planned "through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col. 1:20). Through Christ's blood poured out in sacrifice on the cross we are freed from our sins and made truly holy before God. This comes to us though our faith in him and is especially administered to us through the sacraments, in particular the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist.

This is so, because Christ on the cross paid our debt of suffering that we owed as our just punishment for our sins. In this way he completely expiated our sins in all justice, for perfect satisfaction and reparation was made for them on the cross. We receive this forgiveness through our faith in Christ. We are thus made new men, a new creation, with the righteousness of the risen Christ shining within us.

We are then sent out in mission to the entire world to proclaim and preach this good news, this gospel, to all we can reach, to all who will listen to us. This is God's mission in the world which he carries out through his Son, who sends his followers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to preach this salvation unto the ends of the earth.


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