Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

What must one do to be saved?  According to John 3:16 "whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting."  But what are we asking to be believed in?  Let's take a pictorial and scriptural walk through salvation history...

Luke 2:6-14 
And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock.
And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.
10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:
11 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

Luke 2:41-52
41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch,
42 And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast,
43 And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not.
44 And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance.
45 And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.
48 And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?
50 And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.
52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.
Jesus, now an adult of about 30 years old, goes out and selects His Disciples, the men who would hold an office called the bishopric (Acts 1:20).  He selects the first of them as they were fishing, Peter, James and John:  
Luke 5:1-11  
 And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth,
And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship.
Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke.
And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking.
Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.
10 And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
(Inserting Matthew 4:19) 19 And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men.
11 And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

Next we visit the Wedding at Cana where Jesus performs His first public miracle, launching His ministry into full swing for the next three years.  
John 2:1-11
 And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there.
And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.
And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.
His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.
Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it.
And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom,
10 And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
Jesus raises the synagogue leader's daughter from the dead:
Mark 5:35-42
35 While he was yet speaking, some come from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying: Thy daughter is dead: why dost thou trouble the master any further?
36 But Jesus having heard the word that was spoken, saith to the ruler of the synagogue: Fear not, only believe.
37 And he admitted not any man to follow him, but Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And they come to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; and he seeth a tumult, and people weeping and wailing much.
39 And going in, he saith to them: Why make you this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But he having put them all out, taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
41 And taking the damsel by the hand, he saith to her: Talitha cumi, which is, being interpreted: Damsel (I say to thee) arise.
42 And immediately the damsel rose up, and walked: and she was twelve years old: and they were astonished with a great astonishment.

Jesus taught in their synagogues and amazed all who heard Him:
Luke 4:14-15
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit, into Galilee, and the fame of him went out through the whole country.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, and was magnified by all.
Passion Week begins...
On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the back of an ass.  
Luke 19:36-37
36 And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way.
37 And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen,
38 Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high!
39 And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.
Also Matthew 21:8-9
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way:
And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

On His way into Jerusalem, Jesus pauses and weeps for the city:
Luke 19:41-44
41 And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
42 If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side,
44 And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.
Jesus, entering into the Temple finds it laden with vendors/moneychangers selling their wares...
Luke 19:45-46
45 And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought.
46 Saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves.
Matthew 21:12-13
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves:
13 And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles:
John 13:3-16
Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and goeth to God;
He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself.
After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.
Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: You are not all clean.
12 Then after he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: Know you what I have done to you?
13 You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am.
14 If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.
16 Amen, amen I say to you: The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is the apostle greater than he that sent him.


Jesus celebrates the Lord's Supper, the first celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Matthew 26:26-28
26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body.
27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Jesus prays at the Garden of Gethsemene:
Matthew 26:36-57
36 Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray.
37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.
38 Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me.
39 And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me?
41 Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak.
42 Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word.
45 Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.
47 As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people.
48 And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast.
49 And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him.
50 And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.
51 And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword: and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear.
52 Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53 Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels?
54 How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?
55 In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: You are come out as it were to a robber with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me.
56 Now all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled.
57 But they holding Jesus led him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled.
Betrayed by one who was chosen by Him, Jesus is tried, convicted and sentenced to death on the cross - but Jesus did nothing wrong!  Jesus died on the cross for your sins, for my sins - for all the sins of the world.
The price is paid, but our salvation story does not end with the cross!  If it did, then sin and death had won the battle, but on the third day, Jesus arose from the grave, victorious over sin and death and according to John 3:16, whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.

John 20:11-18
11 But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid.
13 They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him.
14 When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master).
17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.
18 Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.
For another 40 days the Resurrected Jesus visited His Apostles, our first bishops, to instruct them on the ways of governing His Church.  He did not leave His Church rudderless!  In fact he singled out one of The Twelve to take His place as Shepherd, here on Earth after He had gone.  Earlier in His ministry Jesus told Simon Bar Jonah that he, Simon, would be given the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus also renames Simon to Kephas or Cephas, a name meaning "rock" and declares "upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).  

Then, we see in John 21:15-18 where Jesus, three times over, commands St. Peter to feed or tend His sheep.  His sheep is His Church, and clearly Jesus is passing on the role of Shepherd to St. Peter here.
He rose into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, until He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

Do YOU believe in Jesus?  Do YOU believe that Jesus kept His promise to build His Church (a single Church not hundreds, if not thousands of separate schisms who do not agree with each other and even condemn one another)?  Do you believe Jesus left His Church in the charge of the Apostles, our first bishops, to lead His Sheep and keep His Sheep unto salvation?  Certainly you do not believe Jesus waited over 1500 years to form new churches, and again hundreds if not thousands of such "churches" do you?  I compel you to study the true story of the founding of the Christian Church and see which church, singular, that Jesus Himself founded and that One Church to which you should belong to.  It is Jesus' desire that we be one, just as He and the Father are One (John 17:21-22).

Pope Francis appeals to us to preach this "first proclamation" of salvation, and to do THIS in balance with preaching against sin.  We're not to give up on exposing sin and trying to direct our brothers and sisters to the Lord - but we cannot have a constant focus upon that which condemns us.  Let us look at not only what, but WHO saves us.

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