For more information on prefaces in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

This preface is used on weekdays in Ordinary Time.

Salvation through Christ

St. Paul taught us that God desires all men to be saved and to come to know the truth (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). Some people today don’t even realize they need saving because they don’t realize they need God to be truly happy. They can’t put the finger on what’s going wrong in life. An author of the last century coined the expression “anonymous Christians” to describe people who unknowingly sought Christ but, for various reasons, didn’t have the opportunity to know him. Some went as far as to argue that for those people ignorance was bliss, and they’d find salvation simply following their consciences, not receiving the Gospel.

That’s not what Sacred Scripture teaches us: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). If Christ was the ransom for all of us, we should know him, seek him, and welcome him. He came to help us find him

“For in goodness you created man and when he was justly condemned, in mercy you redeemed him, through Christ our Lord.”

We may need God, but God never needed us. He created us out of no necessity whatsoever, and he didn’t have to save us from ourselves either. What greater gift can you receive than existence itself? If life seems to be a curse at times instead of a blessing it is due to sin, not God. Sin is an oppressive gloom that weighed on mankind for generations until Our Lord decided in his mercy to overthrow it. Some of that gloom accompanies us for the rest of this earthly life, but through Christ’s Resurrection we see the light at the end of our tunnel, and that should fill us with hope.

It’s no coincidence that a common symbol on vestments, altars, etc. in our churches and chapels is I.H.S.—it stands for Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus the Savior of Man. Let’s not forget it.

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