You are loved by God and precious in his eyes! The God who created the heavens and the earth, the author of all beauty, truth and goodness, who created everything out of nothing by His holy Word, this God knows you by name and loves you!
God has a wonderful plan for you and your loved ones and desires to give you new hope in a world darkened by sin. We all experience in life a mixture of both joy and sadness, beauty and goodness as well as difficulty, futility and the brokenness that comes from our own sins and the sins of others. We are lifted up by the innocent smile of an infant, the beauty of nature and expressions of love, even while we are surrounded by discord in our relationships, international conflicts, poverty and illness.
Something is very good in our world and something has also gone terribly wrong. All that is good comes from God, who is our loving Father. All that is wrong comes from humanity turning away from God. Our world and our relationships have been damaged by sin. The result of sin, both our own sins and those of all humanity, is that we are separated from God. Sin has ruptured our relationship with God and one another. We can no longer, merely on our own efforts, enter into the loving relationship with God that He originally intended for us. In other words, we really do need a Savior. This is why God sent His Son to become man – so that we could find our way back to God.
Jesus, who lived 2,000 years ago. claimed to have come from God and to be one with God in His divinity. In other words, even though he was a human being like us, he also claimed to be God. And he backed up this claim not only with beautiful teaching, but with powerful miracles and then finally, by his own rising from the dead. By rising from the dead he proved that he was both man and God.
God wants you to know, experience and abide in the saving love of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus told us that only he can offer the fullness of life to humanity. Only Jesus can satisfy the deepest longing of our hearts, give meaning to our lives and bring us to eternal happiness in Heaven! Jesus has come to save us from eternal darkness. He extends an invitation for us to respond to his saving love so that we might know the abundant life that comes from union with God.
Saying yes to Jesus means however that you must unite your life to His, turn away from sin, and follow Him in every area of your life. The offer to accept this saving love of God means entering into a new relationship with God that will completely reorder your life. This invitation to salvation comes as a kind of “marriage proposal” from God to humanity, and to you personally. How will you respond?
Jesus spoke of the importance of faith in Him, repentance, and baptism as the required response to this invitation of his saving love so that we might unite our lives to him as his disciples. He instructed the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19-20) In the Bible, baptism was always the first response of faith to those who believed in Jesus: “Those who received his word were baptized.” (Acts 2: 41)
If you want to know, love and follow Jesus, you need to learn and follow what Jesus taught. The first step is baptism. Jesus said that we must be “born of water and the Spirit… (to) enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5) Several passages of the Bible speak of the importance of baptism for salvation: “baptism… now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:18-21)
Please your local Catholic Church to see how you can fully respond to God’s saving love for you.