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제목 The One Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ(2017-12-10)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2017-12-10




The  One Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ(2017-12-10)


My dear brethren,
We just heard today the testimony of St John the Baptist. As St John the Apostle says at the beginning of his gospel that St John the Baptist “was not the Light, but he gave testimony to the Light [that is, to our Lord Jesus Christ], so that all would believe in Him.” (Jn. 1:7-8). To him as to the last prophet was given the grace of pointing with his own finger to the Messiah: this is He!

How did St John the Baptist do that? St John the Apostle tells us: “The next day again John stood, and two of his disciples. And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: ‘Behold the Lamb of God’. And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus” (Jn. 1:35-37). These two disciples were St Andrew and St John the Apostle, who is thus a very qualified witness.What must have been that very first day with Jesus for these two Apostles! What blessed evening! St Andrew was so moved by it, that “he findeth first his brother Simon, and saith to him: ‘We have found the Messias’, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (Jn. 1:41). The very adjective “first” indicates that the other disciple also found his own brother, but later, and that points that this second disciple is St John, whose brother is St James.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is THE Saviour, THE Redeemer, THE one expected not only by the Hebrews, but even within the pagan world. Indeed outside the chosen people, God had inspired a few prophets who spoke about Christ. St Augustine quotes some sibyls, and in France we have the case of the Canutes (a Celtic tribe, around Chartres) who were honouring “the Virgin who shall conceive”. Perhaps an Angels had appeared to them and told them about the virginal conception. Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ is the ONE Saviour for the whole of mankind, and it is necessary to believe in Him in order to be saved, both before His coming or after His coming. Before Him, it was necessary to believe that He would come; after Him it was necessary to believe that He had come.

St Peter tells us that “there is no salvation in any one else. And there is no other name given under heaven by which man must be saved, but the Name of Jesus”(Acts 4:12). This is why Christmas is so important: the coming of THE Saviour! This faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is the principle of the missionary spirit that animated all the great missionaries such as St Francis, or Archbishop Lefebvre. They wanted to give Jesus to souls, so that they may be saved! Because every man needs Jesus, every man needs the Saviour: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). “But without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6).

But “How shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!”(Rom. 10:14-15). “Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Hence there is need of many missionaries, for the conversion of the pagans: of the Koreans, of the Japanese, of the Chinese, of the Indians, of all the Muslims, and also of all the heretics, because one cannot live of the Life of Christ except in the Body of Christ which is the Church (Col. 1:24), the Catholic Church, the only one that comes right back to Christ. The work is immense, “the harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth labourers into his harvest” (Mt. 9:37-38).

But one may say: what happens to people who have not heard? First one needs to know that God “wants to have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore God will provide always enough grace for each one to be saved: if one is not saved, it is not because God has not given enough grace, it is because one has resisted the grace of God and refused salvation! As St Paul said in the passage above: “But not all obey the gospel” (Rom. 10:16). Some people, like the Pharisees who put St Steven to death, “always resist the Holy Ghost:” (Acts 7:51).

Even people who have not been reached by missionaries can be reached by the Angels of God, who will not abandon those who search for Him. As is written in the book of Job: “God speaketh once, and repeateth not the selfsame thing the second time. By a dream in a vision by night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, and they are sleeping in their beds: Then He openeth the ears of men, and teaching instructeth them in what they are to learn. That He may withdraw a man from the things he is doing, and may deliver him from pride” (Job 33:14-17).

In any case, even if one has not received an angel, he has his own sins, for which he is justly punished and cannot complain against Providence. Thus, in New Caledonia, before the coming of the missionaries, the people were cannibals: on Judgement Day, they won’t be able to say: “it is not our fault, we did not know Jesus Christ, we did not receive a missionary”, our Lord will tell them: “you did not need a missionary to know: ‘Thou shalt not eat thy neighbour!’” And in our modern world, no pagan can claim that he did not know abortion was a crime: it is written in the bowels of a mother when she is expecting that she must love and care for that baby. Similarly, for many other crimes.

Yet, even for these criminals, God wants their salvation and for that purpose wants to send missionaries to them. He knocks at the door of souls, especially of the young: “would you give your life for the salvation of these souls? So that my thirst for souls be fulfilled?” Indeed, He pours His love in the heart of the likes of St Francis Xavier, making them burn with the desire to convert souls, to rescue them from eternal damnation, and to give them eternal life.

Often these missionaries have given their lives for that purpose. Not only by martyrdom, but also through the dangers that they faced: at the beginning of many missions, there were many who died because of tropical diseases: for the Pères Blancs, the White Fathers, in the 19th century, a third of those sent in Africa would die in the first two years of their ministry, because of all kinds of African diseases! They still gave their lives for the salvation of souls.

How can we say that we love our neighbour, see our neighbour falling into fire and do nothing? The very thought of so many souls falling into Hell should make us eager to do something for them, first “to pray the Lord of the Harvest that He may send labourers to his harvest”, but also to help these our neighbours, our friends by our profession of faith without fear, by instructing them in the faith, by counselling them onto the path of our Lord Jesus Christ, by giving them the light and fire that is burning in our heart.

There is more: the missionaries that were priests gave more than just their lives for the salvation of others. They gave them God Himself. Indeed, in the Consecration priests do make our Lord Jesus Christ really present in the Holy Eucharists, with His body, blood, soul and divinity; hence the priests are in a position to really give God to their neighbour, nothing less! So perhaps our Lord is knocking at the door of your soul, especially the young ones, and ask you: are you willing to give your life for this great work of salvation of souls, for which I came here below at Christmas; are you willing to be My instrument in My love for souls?

May the Immaculate Virgin obtain this grace for us and for many others! Amen!


Father François Laisney