A reflection on the letter of St. Paul taken from the book of Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa "Life in Christ"
- 1. CHRISTS RESURRECTION and the Mystery of Gods Suffering
2. Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Rom 8:1 3. FOR IN HOPE WE WERE SAVED (ROM 8:24) 4. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28) 5. THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION! The angel who appeared to the women on Easter morning said to them: Do not be alarmed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen! (Mk 16:6) The more powerful the message is and more deeply it touches the heart. We are not men or women of Good Friday, we are the people of Easter! 6. ST. SERAPHIM OF SAROV He is the most beloved Russian saint After spending about ten years in a forest without speaking a word even to the brother who occasionally brought him some food, was later sent back among the men of God. He would approach those who sought him at his monastery in ever increasing numbers saying with great enthusiasm: My beloved, Christ has risen! 7. FAITH: THE FINGER BY WHICH WE CAN TOUCH THE RISEN CHRIST Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe. Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. (Jn 20:27-29) 8. HEARING: SOURCE OF FAITH "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! (Deut 6:4) Do you not know or have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. (Is 40:28) Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17) 9. PRIDE: THE OBSTACLE TO FAITH But not everyone has heeded the good news (Rom 10:16) And so we get to the bottom of the problem, which lies in the rough soil of human freedom, which can accept or refuse Gods sovereign action. 10. APOSTLES: MONUMENTS OF FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION St. Peter said in Acts 5:31, And we are witnesses to these things. How could it ever have entered the minds of twelve poor men, and uneducated at that, who had spent their lives on the lakes and rivers, to undertake a similar task? When Christ was arrested after carrying our numerous miracles, all the apostles ran away and their head denied him. It is obvious, therefore, that, had they not seen him risen and received indisputable proof of his power they would never exposed themselves to such risk. (St. John Chrysostom) 11. FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION LEADS TO OBEDIENCE For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Rom 1:16) WORD (He is Risen!) EARS HEART LIPS (profession of faith) 12. GOD DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON Mystery of Gods Suffering 13. THE LOVE OF THE FATHER All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. (Mt 11:27) Show us the Father and we shall be satisfied! (Jn 14:8) Jesus calls His father in the most intimate manner, Abba! 14. THE WORK OF THE FATHER God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:8) If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not give us everything else along with him? (Rom 8:32) 15. THE PAIN OF THE FATHER O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me? (Micah 6:3) Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me (Is 1:2) Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him! (Mk 15:14) How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel (Hos 11:8-9) 16. THE SACRIFICE OF ABRAHAM Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, will indeed bless you. (Gen 22:16) God spared Isaac for the sake of Abraham but He did not spare His own Son. 17. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not give us everything else along with him? (Rom 8:32) 18. FREEDOM FROM SIN THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT Next topic on Sept 25 2008