At the heart of today’s First Reading is Paul’s statement that we receive salvation through the ‘free gift of the grace of God.’ No human being has ever merited salvation in their own right and none ever will! The truth is that we all stand condemned because of our sins and it is only through the merciful grace of God that we receive His gift of salvation. In the gospel we here Jesus condemn the past sins of the Jewish People in that they have failed to heed and respond to God’s Word coming from the Prophets.

Today the Church stands as a beacon in the midst of the world proclaiming the truth about humanity and salvation. The Church is a prophetic voice and we, her members need to heed her word as much as anyone else. As a prophetic voice the Church sets before humanity a vision for life and justice. We as her members ought to be the living witness to these truths – to this vision. To the degree that we are we will avoid the condemnation that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel; to the degree that we do not live our faith to the full we will stand before God guilty of the sin of hypocrisy.

This is an awesome responsibility that Christians have been given. It is given a greater imperative when we look at the state of the world with all the terrorist style attacks, wars and general misery and suffering of so many millions, even billions of people. The Gospel, if lived to the full can provide solutions for all of this suffering anf violence. This will be possible only if we begin to take up our responsibility as Christians to be the prophetic witness we are supposed to be to the free gift of salvation that comes through submitting our lives to the grace of God.

The Church is not exaggerating when it says that it contains the fullness of the truth necessary for salvation. It is up to us, her members, to demonstrate that this is indeed true! The only way we can do this is by taking the call to live holy and righteous lives seriously. Each of us must seek out God’s will for his or her life and then, in submission to the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, lives redeemed lives an so be the prophetic figures that the world needs to see and follow.

How often do I share the Good News of salvation with someone who needs to hear it? Am I committed to being the prophetic voice and figure all Christians should be in the world?

Lord Jesus, you never drew back from your commitment to the truth and your call to proclaim the Good News at all times. Help me to overcome my fear of others and to speak and live the truth of the Gospel every moment of my life.