Our Savior, My Redeemer-D

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Working Definitions 

Savior Ė The  one who brings about the result.

Redeemer Ė The person who pays the price to bring about the result. 
 


STEP FOUR

JESUS CHRIST - BOTH SAVIOR AND REDEEMER

Christ is (my) our Savior!

     He, a divine person took on our human nature to save us from the punishment our willful selfish deeds have merited.  He created his Church through which we share in the abundance of unlimited graces that he earned to strengthen us in every aspect of our lives. 

     He instituted the Mass which is the renewal of the new and eternal covenant through which we receive His actual Body and Blood, and which strengthens us in his love and draws us closer to God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Mary his mother and all the Holy Angels. 
 

Let Us Pray . . .  

     Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God.  Now, everyone who loves the father loves the child he has begotten.  We can be sure that we love Godís children when we love God and do what he has commanded.  The love of God consists in this: that we keep his ten commandments and his commandments are not burdensome.  Everyone begotten of God conquers the world, and the power that has conquered the world is this faith of ours.  Who, then, is conqueror of the world?  The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  (John 5:1-5)

     This doesnít mean that life becomes a calculator . . . adding up pluses or minuses to be totaled when we die.  This becomes merely an exercise to earn "points" which we mistakenly think can be "cashed in" with God in return for salvation.  This is not the basis of his love.

Christ is (my) our Redeemer!  

     He atoned for the first sin of man by freely accepting death on a cross because he is in love with you and me.  This act of total love purchased for us the rewards of eternal life.  He offered himself as the price for our redemption to become again God's people with the future of sharing in God's presence for eternity.  Christ is both - our Savior and our Redeemer.

     Christís destiny as Redeemer was to suffer and die in order to completely atone for our first parentís rejection of His Fatherís love.  He lived among us and taught about the kingdom His father prepares for those who love him.  He built his church on the apostles, the first bishops, with Peter as its head to continue teaching his message to the world.  We are strengthened by its sacraments through which we receive his grace (his very life) to better show how much we love him. 

     Jesus freely embraced his role as sacrificial victim; offering himself as a sacrificial victim to His Father for us.  He came among us as Savior and he underwent his Passion and death as our Redeemer completely satisfying for the Original Sin of rebellion committed by our first parents.

     Like the child who responded so universally to his mother's question, "How much do you love me," the divine second person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son, actualized the divine response of love to the willful insult made against the Divine Father by our first parents.

     He freed us from the punishment caused by our first parents' prideful choice and we now have the opportunity to gain heaven.  Our daily choices when motivated by love for God and his wonderful gift of love are meritorious and deserve praise.  

     How much does the Divine Trinity love humankind and how far did God the Father go to show humans the extent of his love?  His Divine Son took on our human nature through Mary, lived among us, told us of his fatherís kingdom, and demonstrated how much he loved us.  He opened his arms wide to encompass the universe, allowed himself to be treated shamefully by the very people he came to redeem, and then died, being nailed to a cross of wood.  How much does he love us?    This much!!!

What Am I To Do? 
 

First, recall what Jesus did for me (us) personally.

     Think that His own Son, a divine person, took on human nature, and freely sacrificed his life to repay the debt humanity incurred against God the Father.  Christ actually taught and showed us by his life how deep Godís love is for us when he taught and then showed us to what extent we should cooperate with the Holy Spirit he would send as our guide.

Second, what He does for me (us) now. 

     When we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are gifted with: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.  These gifts at that very moment open us deeply to the Lord.  They help us to identify and follow his divine inspirations. 

" . . . If you love me and obey the commands I give you, I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete-to be with you always; the Spirit of truth . . ." (John 14:15-17)

" . . . the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you." (John 14:26)

The gift of Wisdom:
    
W
e find joy in the things of God and judge everything according to God's standards.

Understanding:
     Helps me to grasp and appreciate the mysteries of God's love for us.

Counsel:
     Helps me to see what is best for the glory of God, for mine and my neighbor's salvation.
     Supernatural common sense.

Fortitude:
     Permits me to face the evils I dread.

Knowledge:
     Helps me to recognize the value of created things as they point toward God.

Piety:
     Helps me to love and respect God out of love rather than duty.

Fear of the Lord:
     Helps me to respect and follow God's laws because he is our Father rather than obey out of fear. Keep in the mind what Christ said, ďIf a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps.Ē (Matthew 16:24)  

Remember . . .  He said, " ďWhoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps.Ē (Luke 9:23)

Question - How do we do that?   
Answer -
Only one way - Go, and do the same!

Practice of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit will result in these Fruits.

Charity
- Actions driven by love for God and neighbor.

Joy - Helps a person serve God cheerfully.

Peace - The mind is untroubled in face of spiritual or temporal trials.

Patience - Bear the trials of life with resignation to Godís will, not giving in to sadness. 

Kindness - Gentleness, sympathy, wishing well for others.

Goodness - Something is pleasing because its worth and value flows from God. 

Generosity - Freely giving of self, time or possessions motivated by love for God and his creation.

Gentleness - Mildness but not softness without strength.

Faith - Believe all that God has revealed because he can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Modesty - Moderation in all things, behavior and dress, respect for oneís worth as a child of God.

Self-control - Abstain from legitimate pleasures with one's marriage partner voluntarily abstain from legitimate marital intercourse.

Chastity:  

Single persons - Exclude all indulgence in and voluntary pleasure from the sexual act. 

Married persons - Control of the sexual appetite according to right reason.  Intercourse between a lawful

husband and lawful wife is chastity.



We Are Not Alone!

Ask for divine guidance, yes and even assistance.
A
sk Mary, the angels and the saints for help to better understand and love her son.

   Why Mary?
      She is the Immaculate Virgin whose life was untouched by any stain of sin.
      She is the Mother of Christ; our Savior and personal Redeemer.
      Maryís position in heaven is Queen of the Angels and Saints.
      Mary has a special role as Intercessor for all her children on earth.
      Mary is Intercessor before God of all his children . . . both the good, and the bad. 
      Mary is Mediatrix of all graces to her children on earth and purgatory.  The infinite graces earned by
      her son flow through her hands to all God's children.
      

      Maryís response to Elizabethís greeting sums up who she is. 

     ďMy being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior, for he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.  God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name . . ."  (Luke1:46-49)

Why the angels? 

     They are Godís close spiritual friends.  They chose him from the beginning and they dwell now in his presence. Their greatest desire is that we, like them, should dwell with him forever, and ever, and ever . . .

Why the saints?

     Each, with their unique personalities chose to live and love God as best they could to the point of  dedicating their very lives to this purpose. 

Final Question:  Since I am so loved by God that He created me, sustains me, and my very existence is his continuing gift, how can I repay him for what he has done for me? 

Our Life's Response:

     My understanding of Godís great love for me is . . .

1.  . . . That in Godís desire that I be united with him for all eternity, His son redeemed me even before I was born into this world.  I am gifted through the sacraments of Baptism into his church, cleansed and recommitted by the sacrament of Reconciliation, strengthened in Christ at the reception of Christís Body and Blood in each Holy Eucharist and Confirmed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to carry out my lifeís activities.  Finally, I am strengthened through the special graces of Matrimony or Holy Orders, and finally in my final hours by Anointing of the Sick.   

2.  . . . That I act in accordance with his will and express my love for him through my every thought, word and deed . . . to think and act with the motive of giving greater honor and glory to God . . . to love and honor Mary, the mother of Godís son, and to consider the saints and angels as heavenly allies who assist me on my earthly journey toward my final destination.  

3.  . . . That I will live out the teachings of Christís Church, and take part in the frequent reception of its sacraments which draw me evermore deeply into Christís Paschal Sacrifice of offering himself to the Father for our sake.

4.  . . . That I offer my prayers, actions and my very self to the Father for others . . . personifying Christís love for everyone.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  (John 14:15-17, 18)

Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.  (John 14: 21)

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name - he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."  (John 14:26)

"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.   Cast me not out from your presence, and you Holy Spirit take not from me.  Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me."  (Psalm 51:12-14)

My Final Desire:

I pray I will hear God's final words to me, '. . . . Well done!  You are an industrious and reliable servant.  Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs.  Come, share your master's joy!'  (Matthew 25:21)

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