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Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Fifth Sunday of Easter
1 John 3:18-24
May 2, 2021
Have you ever been asked if you were “saved” and felt that you didn’t quite know the answer John the Presbyter (elder) who wrote the first letter of John will help us answer this from today’s reading.
If the person who asked the question is a traditional Protestant, he is assuming that to be saved means to have had a strong and unmistakable experience that God has chosen you for his own. If she has a good grounding in Calvinism, she knows that this reflects the belief that humankind is hopelessly corrupt and broken, and even God cannot make us holy and whole. Therefore, God accepts – saves – some people by ignoring their sins. They are not changed by God’s grace, it is a free and gratuitous gift of God. Therefore, after one has had this experience, a person cannot be unsaved. It is permanent. No wonder that it is called being “born again.”
There is a great truth here. No one can save himself; God’s action must come first and is absolutely necessary. Yet Catholicism believes that we are not totally corrupt. God’s grace – that is a relationship with Jesus – can change us so that we become more like Him. Therefore, although the church has an ancient and well-developed mystical tradition, no one experience of God is definitive. Although our actions cannot save us, they will show if we are in a right relationship with God. The Catholic question is “Is your conscience clear?” After examining our consciences, do we find ourselves free of Mortal – deadly – sin which would sever our relationship with God?Continue reading “5th Sunday of Easter – Actively Loving Each Other”