Lord, You made humans a little less than the angels. You gave us the power to rule over Your creation, to order it and use it, to care for it and keep it safe. What's more, You watch over us and cherish us and attend to all our needs. You even pour Your own glory and honor upon us. We share in Your divine life. We live in covenant with You, in a family bond with You, our Father.
Lord, may we always appreciate these gifts. May we always remember who we are in You and never turn our backs on You and Your great love. May we always serve well as Your stewards and treat Your creatures with loving care. May we always reflect Your light and Your life and Your love to all the world. Amen.
Friday – No Salvation through Anyone Else
“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit when he proclaimed these words to the Jewish leaders. They needed to know, to understand, to acknowledge that no one is saved except through Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen One, the Son of God, the Messiah.
This is the truth. If anyone gets to Heaven, it is only through Jesus. There is no other way. No other religion will save anyone. This doesn't mean that people of other faiths have no chance of going to Heaven. We trust in God's mercy, and we never know exactly what happens in the last moments of anyone's life. But we do know that if they are saved, it is only through Jesus.
We Christians, then, must appreciate the great gift we have. We know Jesus. We can meet Him everyday in prayer, in His Word, in the sacraments, and in the depths of our hearts. When we are in a state of grace, He dwells within our very souls. The only way for anyone to be saved lives within us and loves us. Isn't that amazing?
Saturday – Proclaim the Gospel
At the end of today's Gospel, Jesus tells His apostles to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
First they must go. They cannot remain in hiding, keeping this wonderful secret to themselves. It belongs to the whole world, so that's where they must go: to the whole world.
But going isn't enough. They must proclaim the Gospel. They must shout it from the rooftops, publicly, boldly, confidently, bravely. They must, by their words and actions, tell every creature about Jesus.
This command is not for the apostles alone. We, too, are called to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. At every moment of the day, in every situation, with every person, we must publicly, boldly, confidently, and bravely speak of Jesus in word and action that the world around us may come to know Him. This may seems like a daunting task, but we can be sure that Jesus gives us all the grace we need to accomplish it. We just have to open ourselves to that grace and accept it.
So in this Easter season and always, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”