daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, Easter Monday, April 01, 2013
Acts 2:14, 22-33, Ps. 15, Matt. 28:8-15

"And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 2:38).

This is the conclusion of St. Peter's first sermon, which he gave on Pentecost, and three thousand people believed and were baptized on that day (Acts 2:41). Jesus Christ, since his death and resurrection, is the means that God uses for the salvation of all who are saved. Therefore Jesus sent his apostles unto the ends of the earth as his witnesses (Acts 1:8) so that all might hear of him and have the opportunity to believe in him for their salvation. God forgives sins through his death that made satisfaction and reparation for them. This is the only effective satisfaction for the forgiveness of sins, and every sin that is forgiven is forgiven through the merits of this one effective sacrifice that paid our just debt of punishment for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore all are called to believe in him and be baptized for the remission of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So "repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

The apostles quickly learned that Jesus Christ is for everyone, not just for the Jews. When they heard how the Gentiles repented and received the Holy Spirit when Peter preached Christ to them in Cornelius' house, they said, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). It is the mission of the Church to give all the possibility of hearing the gospel, believing in Christ for their salvation, and being baptized and becoming members of the Church, the community of those who believe in Christ, receive from him the forgiveness of their sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is our mission, because, according to the Scriptures, "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). "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him" (John 3:36). "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). "God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life" (1 John 5:12). "He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:18).

Although we hope in the mercy of God for those who still have not heard of Christ or have not yet heard the gospel, the mission of the Church is clear, and the will of God is that the gospel be preached to all, giving them the opportunity to believe in Christ, receive relief for their guilt, and forgiveness of their sins. This will give them peace with God in this present life, and eternal salvation. It is God's will that we give all the opportunity to have this through personal faith in Jesus Christ and membership in his Church. This is our mission in the world. It is the very mission of God himself (missio Dei), which he gave us to carry out.


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