St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Paul treats justification in the epistle to the Romans. It is an important theme, but one that is complex and profound. We can but briefly look at St. Paul’s reflection in the Epistle to the Romans (ch. 3-5). Paul points out that God is holy and justice or righteousness is very important to God. God must be true to himself. Because of original sin the human race has lost sanctifying grace and needs redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ.
Through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, Son of God, we have regained sanctifying grace (which means favor or gift), something that God gives freely and lovingly. Paul says simply: we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. St. Augustine says this grace of God to humanity is God’s greatest gift, even greater than the creation of the universe, and of the angels. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who live in us are God’s great gifts as well.
The central point that Paul makes is that our justification is not by the observation of the law of Moses. All humanity is redeemed by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Paul points out that Jews and Gentiles are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
The church teaches us that the Eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice. It is the same sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary. It is the same Christ and the same redeeming event, now celebrated on earth by Christ the high priest, and the church that participates in this “once for all” sacrifice and gift of self of Jesus Christ. “It takes more than obedience to the law to make the people deserving of God’s justice. Practicing the law is of little merit if the interior does not express real faith” (St. Joseph Weekly Missal).
Let Us Pray:
God our Father, we thank you for the gift of Jesus our Savior. We thank you for his self-sacrifice and loving mercy. May we treasure the sacrifice of the Eucharist that we celebrate so often and live in hope as we follow your Son to our heavenly home.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)