There was a not so pleasant part of our theological history as Catholics and as Christians when it came to the question about who bore responsibility for the death of Jesus. And for a long time, there was kind of this ugly tendency to say, well, of course, the Jews did. John’s Gospel says it.
Again, the Jews did this, the Jews did that, and so forth. And it created a rather ugly period. As a matter of fact, in the city of Rome itself, there is rather what’s called the still the Jewish Ghetto.
Now, the Jewish ghetto has become trendy today, but the Jewish ghetto was a place surrounded by gates because the Jewish people had a curfew. They had to be in by a certain time. But that is a misunderstanding of salvation.
If we want to ask the question, who was responsible for the killing of Jesus? Well, it’s us, of course. Everybody, everybody who sinned has responsibility for the death of Jesus because he died for our sins. Had we still been in the Garden of Eden without sin, we would have been in paradise. We wouldn’t have needed a Savior.
But because we have sinned, we need a Savior. And Paul is beginning to make this clear in the first reading we heard today. All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. Our sin separates us from this God-given glory. But then he goes on to say, and right now, because Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, the works of the law do not save. Jesus saves. Let us ask the Lord today for us that we might once again renew our commitment to accept the grace of Jesus and to cooperate with it for our salvation.
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