How often have you been asked “are you saved”? This is a question which needs an answer from each of us. This question would usually come from a fundamentalist protestant. We, Ukrainian Catholics, do not look at God and salvation in the same way as they do and would not even dream of asking that question.
We look at our relationship with God not as something which happened once upon a time but rather as something which was started a long time ago, is presently going on and will be achieved when we pass on to the next life. It is a process which is ongoing.
For a Ukrainian Catholic salvation continues to be worked out in our lives by our daily serving, loving, knowing, obeying and following Jesus. We are all working on our salvation. It is neither a static nor a completed state. We are in the process of moving towards theosis or our becoming like Christ. This is not something which can fully happen in our lifetime. It happens in heaven.
The salvation we are looking for is not found in politics, education or economics. Our salvation is found in Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual thing. Unfortunately, people turn to doctors for drugs or they find alcohol or search for other means to run away from God’s reality. All this searching only tells us that we need to be saved from sin and eventual death. Salvation is the process that we need to go through in order to free ourselves of these fears.
Jesus is very much on our side. He did not come to condemn us, but rather to free us from sin and death. He came to free us from ignorance, prejudices, bitterness, instability, confusion and all of the other effects of sin which is brought to this world by the devil.
We are saved so that we can love one another and, in this way, to meet God. We are saved so that we can participate in the life God has planned for us. We are saved so that we can do good works.
We should also know that we cannot buy salvation either by our generosity or by good works. These actions are signs of the presence of God in our lives, but ultimately, we have to remember that, asSt Paulsays, we are saved by God’s Grace.
Salvation is a free gift from God to those who believe in Him. We should never boast about how good we are or how much good we do; we should only be grateful that God’s grace or gift works through us. Our thankfulness demands that we remember to do all our good works in the name of Jesus Christ.
We pray that we can be true to our desire to achieve salvation. We must pray that we do not stray from our good intentions. If salvation is a journey, then we must pray that God gives us the strength to finish it.
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