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For 2023 one of our goals is to give new focus to the very basic teaching of the Catholic faith: the Redemption of Man by Jesus Christ. Most people cannot define these terms and the reality is that if you cannot define something you cannot teach it. If you cannot teach it you will be very limited in how you can experience it: both intellectually and in the practical sense of living it out.

This is a great problem with faith today. It affects many, many people. It affects people in the Church at every level. Merely ask anyone you know in the Church what the Redemption is. You may
get the most cursory response: "It means that Jesus dies for us." What is an omelette? "Cooked eggs."  Both answers are true but it won't get you anywhere in understanding how to pursue either one.

o what is the Redemption?

It means that God (the Son, one member of the Holy Trinity) became man. He took on a human body, mind and soul. Just like we have. He fully experienced here on earth what it meant to be human.

When he lived among us his human will made every decision (choice) to follow the original plan of human existence. This was that every human would love each other as each member of the Holy Trinity loves each other. The three are separate persons
but one God. All humans are separate individuals but participate in a oneness when we choose in our wills to love one another according to God's plan. Our ancestors failed and so each person is affected by original sin which hinders us from loving. Jesus, the Son had no original sin and therefore although he was tempted and could have sinned , He did not sin and followed the original divine plan without flaw in his human body, mind and soul.. But by doing so he had to face the evil of all of our sins because he was living among us: a bunch of sinners. Yet again, He did not fail.

In the end because He did not sin it brought Him to His human suffering and death. So He "redeems" us because He restores our nature (being a human) to its real meaning: to be one who loves others not selfishly but in accord to God's plan.

Picture this. You take your pizza coupon for a supreme pizza into the pizza place. The coupon is made of paper and ink. You give it to the clerk and what do you get? A supreme pizza! You have "redeemed" your coupon. It was really worth the pizza. Jesus shows us what we are really worth as humans. We are not just greedy, confused, angry, selfish creatures. We are really creatures of love. That is what we are really worth. Thus, we are redeemed.

We participate in the Redemption when we realize what Jesus did. Then we are able to love as He did. Not only because of His example but because He actually abides in us to strengthen us to do so. Through prayer, sacraments, moral teachings and community we continue to experience the Redemption because Our Lord Jesus told us He would be with us "until the end of the age."

If we do not realize that Jesus, Himself was following the Divine Plan of love then we will not follow it. We will be stuck following our own plan of love. We will pick and choose only the ingredients that we want on the pizza according to our own taste. It seems the easy way. But it really is the way of destruction. That is what the suffering of the Cross shows us.

Croise will be teaching us throughout 2023 with a special emphasis what the Redemption is and how to understand it. Join us on our journey.


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