19 May, Tuesday — Believers shall earn salvation

Tuesday of 6th Week of Eastertide

Acts 16:22-34
John 16:5-11

“Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.”

The weight of human belief is the product of the magnitude of mental richness and the direction of thought; it stems from realization and understanding around faith. Sometimes, the pressure of what men could hold strong in their hearts could maintain the boiling point of water; this is how the human heart can maintain the heat of belief.

In the late 1970s, I shared a class at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with a young man, Agunna, whose father was not a Christian; but he was portrayed as a good man who never maltreated his neighbours. Agunna took time to explain to us that his father was not a native doctor, but a traditional practitioner, and to me the distinction remained vague. After his graduation in 1982, from the University of Ibadan, Agunna returned to the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1993. We lost many years in communication and have only reunited recently; and the brief account of his father he gave was very interesting. For many years, his father resisted conversion and baptism until he fell sick and all the oracle medications and charms that were protecting him failed; he was helpless. Finally, he was supported and helped to the Church where his son baptised him and he became known as Mathias. Today, he is still alive, though an old man in his 90s and a strong Catholic and a preacher of salvation. When I saw him early this year, I recounted his story that I knew and he retorted: “Believe me, my son, only believers shall earn salvation, I now believe.”

It takes the utmost determination to stay on, and to believe in the tasking realities and enduring sufferings that following Our Lord Jesus Christ could attract to us; but the end justifies the daunting process. Those that follow Him are also tied to the apron of his fate that matures to faith, for the faithful at the end; and these are the ones who are saved.

(Today’s Oxygen by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike)

Prayer: Our Lord Jesus Christ, we beckon on you to instil in us the spirit of knowing and believing in you, grant us strong faith in working for our salvation. We have faith in you, Lord, stand with us as we wade through the challenges of our time today in this world, and heal our world of this scourging pandemic. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Our Lord, we thank you for hearing our prayers, for healing our world and returning us to your fold as your children. Amen.

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