Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

+Jn 3: 31-36

The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven (is above all).

He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.

Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.

For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.

The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

The New American Bible

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

160 To be human, “man’s response to God by faith must be free, and. . . therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act.” “God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently they are bound to him in conscience, but not coerced. . . This fact received its fullest manifestation in Christ Jesus.” Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. “For he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it. His kingdom. . . grows by the love with which Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws men to himself.”

 

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. “Since “without faith it is impossible to please God” and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘But he who endures to the end.'”

162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.” To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church.

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