The question often arises if Christianity has:
an individualistic understanding of salvation, hope for myself alone, which is not true hope since it forgets and overlooks others. Indeed [this is not so]. Our relationship with God is established through communion with Jesus—we cannot achieve it alone or from our own resources alone. The relationship with Jesus, however, is a relationship with the one who gave himself as a ransom for all (cf. 1 Tim 2:6). Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into his “being for all”; it makes it our own way of being. He commits us to live for others, but only through communion with him does it become possible truly to be there for others, for the whole.
Spe Salvi 28
Reflection – Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior? The question asked by evangelical Christians is one that sometimes makes other Christians either puzzled or put off.
Well, it doesn’t have that effect on me, and not just because I’ve got a few evangelical Christian relatives who are very dear to me (hello, my E.C. relatives who might be reading this! Love ya!). I am a person, Jesus is definitely my savior, so yes, Jesus is my personal savior (what other kind could he be?).
However, we do see in this passage from Spe Salvi that there is something more going on in the Christian religion than just being ‘saved personally by Jesus.’ What a friend I have in Jesus! He walks with me and He talks with me. But it seems like Jesus has a few other friends in the world, a few other people besides me who he at least wants to walk and talk with. One or two or seven billion people He cares about, just a little.
And so my personal relationship with Christ, if it really is with Him, has to spill over into these one or two or seven billion other people. He died for everyone; the very least I can do is pray for everyone. He gave his life for the whole world; I can give whatever measly stuff I have to give for my little corner of the world, and ask him to multiply it, so it can feed everyone else.If our faith is not like that, not opening us up to loving everyone, being concerned for everyone, wishing every good thing, every good gift from Heaven, upon every last human being on earth, then something has badly gone wrong. We’ve missed Jesus, somehow, in it all. And that’s a hopeless state of affairs.