Homily January 3rd, 2016
In the Bible, referring to the name of a person is referring to the same person. The expression “in the name of Jesus” is very often used in Scripture. For example, we can see when Saint Peter addresses the lame that was waiting for alms at the temple’s door, saying to him: “Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.” Or when the disciples, who were sent by the Lord, came back to tell Jesus: “Even the demons submitted to your name.”
In the famous speech of St. Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4 we are told: “For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” It is not possible to be saved without Christ.
Sometimes, the false prophets and teachers want to teach us other ways in these times of confusion, but we must remember that Christ is the only way. When some say that Christians, Jews and Muslims have the same God, this is false. That is why we have to have clear ideas; it is not enough to have good faith. If we get carried away by false doctrines, despite our naivety or our good faith, we could be condemned.
Sometimes we are presented with a dilemma: “So who should I follow? Should I follow the Bible or should I follow the prophets and teachers who offer us a different doctrine?” It could be an unwise decision if we follow those who offer us a different doctrine than the one of Christ which is manifested in the sources of revelation (Scripture and Tradition of the Church).
Only the name of Jesus, that is to say the person of Jesus, is what can bring us salvation. How can we admit the fact that certain religions, who blaspheme of Christ, could bring us to the Father?
Remember what St. John said in his first letter: “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” St. John also tells us: “This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son.” Brothers: the Word of God is beyond question, is strong, clear and explicit.
It was also said that Christ, Mohammed and Buddha are the same. So where do these words lead us to? This is a false doctrine, and therefore, it cannot be accepted.
Some say that the Bible is an outdated book. Since when is the Word of God obsolete? Who should we believe? Christ or the false prophets and teachers? Do not be misled!
The first duty for any Christian is to be faithful to Christ and his teachings. The pastors cannot invent new doctrines. The good shepherd has to transmit the doctrine of Christ which he has received and he also has to confirm the people in the true faith. So, we cannot be separated of the fidelity due to Christ, or to his name or to his teachings.
It is said that there is no need to evangelize the Jews. And I say, if the Jews do not believe in Christ, and only Christ alone can bring us to salvation, then, if there is no need to evangelize the Jews, how are they going to be lead to salvation? …
[Translation by Miguel Tenreiro]