Jesus: Messiah, but no cheap grace

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"Messiah: No Cheap Grace" by Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC (CatholicMom.com)

Photo via Pixabay (2018), CC0 Public Domain

In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes this statement, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg — or he would be the devil of hell.

However, Peter the Apostle says of Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus himself claims he is “The Way, the Truth and the Life,” “The Living Bread come down from heaven,” “The Father and I are one,” “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

Jesus is not a lunatic or the devil from hell but the Son of God, Second person of the Blessed Trinity. He immediately responds to Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, that he himself must suffer, die and rise from the dead. Then he says, “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”

No cheap grace here! Bishop Barron reminds us that Faith is the door that leads to the house of the Lord. Faith is primary and is always the movement of God into our lives. But it demands a response: We must enter the house and live there with the Lord as a member of his household.

Faith is perfected in works of love. It is not enough to be at the door. We must enter and live according to the law of love, caring for our neighbor. “So also, faith of itself, if it does not have works is dead.” {James 2: 17} In no place in the scriptures does it say that one is saved by faith alone or by grace alone. We are saved by grace and by faith but not by either of those alone. That is explicitly condemned in the New Testament letter of James.

Each weekday, the homily from Daily Mass at Holy Cross Family Ministries is shared online. Visit Family Rosary: World at Prayer and sign up to receive notifications of each day’s homily.


Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

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About Author

Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC, is a Catholic Priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and President of Holy Cross Family Ministries.

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