The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

7th Week of Easter

Date: 
Sat, 05/23/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

We come to the end of John’s gospel.
If I were a teacher, with this being the end of the school year,
I might very well give a test today, a final exam.
The exam would consist of one question, an essay question: “What is salvation?”
This is the question the Gospel of John addresses.
 
The answer to this question needs to include things like:
- why is salvation necessary?              - where does salvation come from?
- what does salvation look like?          - when will salvation occur?
- how does salvation take place?        - who does salvation pertain to?
 
If you wrote the name “Jesus Christ” on your exam paper and turned it in
I would give you a passing grade.
If you said something about having faith in Jesus Christ, putting faith in Jesus Christ,
this would add to your grade.
If you included in your answer the reality of sin, human freedom, choice…
this would add to your grade.
If you included in your answer the reality and power of God’s unconditional love….
this would add to your grade.
If you included in your answer love of God and love of neighbor
this would add to your grade.
If you included in your answer the word “heaven”,
this would not add to your grade.
According to the Gospel of John, salvation isn’t a matter of entering heaven.
It is a matter of entering into a new relationship with God,
a relationship made possible in and through Jesus Christ,
a relationship that involves the indwelling presence of God.
 
Salvation pertains to life as opposed to death.
Just as biological birth begins life, spiritual birth (birth from above) brings eternal life.
 
What is necessary for salvation?   Hearing: a person must hear and come to belief in Jesus Christ. 
Coming to belief is “life”.  Remain in unbelief is “death”. 
True belief is expressed by being obedient to Jesus’ commands. 
And Jesus’ greatest command is to love.
(A side note:  when we die, when we lie in the darkness of death, Jesus will speak, will call out.  If we hear his voice, answer “I am here Lord”, we will be raised to life. 
I believe, if we don’t hear and recognize his voice now,
there is a strong possibility we will not hear and recognize his voice then.)
What is necessary for salvation?  Jesus says “you must eat my flesh and drink my blood.”
What is a typical human response to salvation?  Joy and rejoicing.
An unfortunate truth we need to keep in mind:  some people reject God’s offer of salvation
as it has been revealed to the world through Jesus Christ.
 
If you passed this exam:  congratulations.  Live accordingly.
If you failed this exam or want to get a better grade, you can take it again until you pass.
Make sure, and I can’t stress this enough,
make sure you turn in your exam before the deadline.
Papers submitted after the deadline receive an automatic failure.