There is a tendency among people today to take the stance that it is somehow wrong and intolerant to believe that any one of the major world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam) is any better or greater than the others. They say that there is no one way to experience God, and that to think so evidences bigotry and ignorance. Some of us may even find ourselves sympathizing with this view. After all, who wants to be thought of as narrow minded? Aren’t all religions really equal?
The answer, as Paul reminds us today in his letter to the Romans, is emphatically NO! It is only through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus that the sin that came into world through Adam is redeemed. As Paul powerfully asserts, “for just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous. Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace might also reign in justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In short, Paul tells us that although we are all sinners and unworthy of salvation, the sacrifice of Jesus – who was without sin – has made those who have faith in him worthy of eternal life.
So you see, sisters and brothers, it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus that you and I can hope for salvation. Other faiths honestly and devotedly seek the way to God, and we must respect and honor that search for holiness. However, without faith in Jesus, there is no expiation for sins.
I know, it sounds harsh. Maybe it is harsh. But if we honestly accept the truth of the Gospel, and accept Jesus for who he said he is – the Son of the living God – we understand that he alone is the resurrection and the life, and the primacy is his in everything. Otherwise, we call him a liar.