have you thanked your church lately?
“This Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, that we might be justified by His grace.” ––Titus 3:6-7
Justification is a word often thrown around in today’s climate of denominationalism. Different Christian faith traditions have chimed in with competing definitions, causing confusion.
Where can we find a brief and clear statement of the doctrine of justification? Notice what St. Paul wrote to his protégé, St. Titus: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life” (Ti 3:4-7).
The Catholic Church helps us navigate choppy waters. In fact, a boat is a common metaphor for Holy Mother Church. As Catholics, we are not drowning in theological uncertainty. We lean on Scripture, sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church. So fear not! (Jn 12:15)
Baptism is the foundation of our justification before God. “This sacrament is also called ‘the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,’ for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit” (Catechism, 1215).
God’s grace instills in us the virtue of hope. Thus, we are “placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength” to be justified (Catechism, 1817).
“The just demands of the law” are “fulfilled in us who live, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (see Rm 8:4). The Spirit empowers us to love God and love neighbor. Are you receptive to grace? Be reconciled with God. Be justified!
Prayer: Father, I’m Your child. Speak to me through Your Church.
Promise: “He guides me in right paths.” ––Psalm 23:3
Praise: St. Martin was baptized shortly before being discharged from military service, and became a disciple of St. Hilary.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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