The Amazing Sacrifice of Christ
When the risen Christ appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem, He said to them: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47)
The question is often asked: Why did Jesus have to suffer greatly and die on the Cross?
An important point to note is that Jesus’ violent death by crucifixion was not the result of chance in an unfortunate turn of events, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter states in the Acts of the Apostles: “This Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” (Acts 2:23) (CCC 599) As God sees the past, present and future all at once, God takes into account each person’s response to His grace in His divine plan. St. Peter attested that God’s plan of salvation unfolded according to the prophecies of prophets when the Jews denied Jesus at His trial and demanded that a murderer be released to them. (Acts 3:17-18) (CCC 600)
The Scriptures foretold God’s plan of salvation through the death of His Servant, as a ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. (Isaiah 53:7-8, 11) Therefore, did Jesus suffer greatly and die on the Cross merely to fulfill the prophets? Definitely, there has to be a deeper answer than that.
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish, but might have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus embraced the Father’s love for men in His human heart (John 13:1), and in His Suffering and Death on the Cross, Christ’s humanity became the perfect instrument of His divine love which desires the salvation of men. (CCC 609)
Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross produced many effects:
- It redeemed man from the sin that held them in bondage. (CCC 1741)
- It merited justification for us. (CCC 617, 1992)
- It gave a new meaning to suffering. (CCC 1505)
The Death of Christ on the Cross opened the gates of heaven so that all people might be saved, but because of each person’s free will, one can choose to reject Christ’s free gift of redemption. Christ’s Death on the Cross does not force anyone into heaven; those who desire to enter God’s Kingdom in heaven cooperate with His grace by believing in Him and obeying His commandments.
The Anointing of the Sick on every first Sunday of the month will resume in May. This Sacrament of healing is intended for persons whose health is seriously impaired by illness or old age. Fr. Bill will be at the chapel immediately after the 10:30am Mass.
The Easter lilies in the church will all be put up for sale after the 10:30am Mass. Please see Agnes Lam.
Beginning in May, the Pastoral Council meetings will take place on every second Sunday after the 10:30am Mass in the Conference Room. All Pastoral Council members are requested to attend either in person or via virtual meeting.