Dedicated to charitable giving to those who are in need.

 Message from Father William Bartoul

My dear Brother Knights, 

During this Eastertide (Easter to Pentecost), it’s good to reflect on the meaning of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The meaning gets richer when we do some investigating.  It’s important to know that the meaning of His passion, death and resurrection is directly connected to His incarnation; God taking on flesh, Jesus the God/Man.  Okay, let’s start piecing this whole thing together. 

Condemned.  Why were we condemned in the first place?  Simply put, we sinned.  Sin refers to free choices that harm and break our relationship with God and with others.  That’s not difficult to grasp.  The price or wage of sin is Death.  The Old Testament is pretty clear about this.  I don’t think that I have to remind you about Adam and Eve or the flood story.  Oh, let’s not forget Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the New Testament, St. Paul tells us that “the wages of sin are death.”(Rm 6:23) 

Death is death, or is it?  There are 2 types of biblical death: physical death & spiritual death.  Physical death is pretty clear; everything living has an end to its physical existence.  But, spiritual death isn’t the end of our spirit’s existence.  Rather, it is spiritual beings (angels, humans) separated forever from God, Who is the fullest splendor of Life.  That separation from God is “spiritual death.”  And the gathering place for those poor souls is called hell.  And, their warden is Satan. 

Why save us?  Our loving Father was not content being separated from His children.  He loved Adam and Eve; He saw what He created and that it was good.  After the floods, God make a covenant of peace with all mortal creatures.  He even sent judges and prophets to help His people to be good and holy.  But, that didn’t work out so well; the judges became greedy/corrupt and the people killed the prophets.  So, God decided to come to us, Himself.  St. John says it so beautifully in his Gospel (3:16), “For 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.” 

What is redemption?  To redeem means “to buy back,” “to restore.”  Since God has set the cost for sinning, the price is paid to God.  And, so, Jesus redeems us; pays the price (death) and restores our relationship with God.  As divine mercy saves us, the Law is satisfied.  

Who is saved?  Redemption is for ALL humankind; not just for that generation whom Jesus walked among.  All humankind means every person in the present and the past thousands of years.  All!  During His suffering, Jesus pulled onto Himself all of humanity’s sins.  Mind-boggling!  St. Faustina captured it well when she said we could never fathom the depth of Jesus’ suffering.  The early Christian writers wrote about our sins being nailed to the Cross; literally as well as figuratively. 

What happened?  God’s magnificent love for us shines forth.  No human could carry all the sins of humanity…that person would be crushed, annihilated, obliterated under the centuries of ugliness, cruelty, anger, hate and impurity.  Only God could bear all the sins of humanity.  But God can’t die, He’s immortal.  Yet, by His own decree, the wages of sin are death.  This was the necessity for Jesus, the God/Man, the incarnation.  In that one Person, His divinity bore the sins while His humanity paid the price.  All of humanity is redeemed by God’s great act of loving sacrifice for us. 

The redemption of humanity is huge, well beyond our total comprehension.  All we can do is look, as deeply as humanly possible, into this extraordinary act of love by God for His children.  Then, thank the Lord and praise Him.  And, finally, amend our lives and love Him in return. 

I hope this spurs you on to further investigation of our Catholic faith. 

Your Investigative Reporter,

Fr. Bill