September 21, 2020
What do you hope for from the Lord? Sometimes we can think that our hope of eternal salvation is dependent on doing something to earn it, but this attitude basically that of the fifth century heretic Pelagius. Rather, as St. Augustine and the Roman Catholic Church teach, there is nothing that one does to earn salvation, but rather all good works that contribute to our sanctification are done out of gratitude for what the Lord has already wrought through his death on the cross. The concern should not be over one's salvation -- something that lies only in the hands of God himself -- but rather with responding to this gratuitous offer in love, by bearing fruit in the "vineyard of the Lord" among those to whom we are sent. If there is any "merit" in what we do, it is Christ's first, in which we participate when we embrace his call to pick up our cross daily and follow him.
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on September 20, 2020, the 25 Sunday of Ordinary Time