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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Restitution & Salvation

QUESTION:

Is restitution necessary for salvation? When I mean restitution I mean restitution for things like gossip or insulting others.

RESPONSE:

We would err in viewing restitution merely in terms of mathematics.  Often we cannot fully restore what has been taken.  How does one repair the trust that is broken?  How does one repair another’s good name or reputation?  How does one heal memories of being wronged?  It is difficult even to repay ordinary debts and often resources are not available to make right on wrongs committed.  Jesus makes satisfaction for our sins by the price of his passion and Cross.  The calling given us is to take up our crosses and to follow him.  The implication is to do our part in making amends for sin that dishonors God and hurts our neighbor.  The meaning of restitution is found both in justice and in a need to bring healing.  Understood in this way, it is not merely a box to check off for salvation but an essential element in living out our Christianity.  Look at the sayings of Christ:

“If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:45-48).

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