“Jesus died for my sins.”
We are taught from a young age our faith and taught in the language of grade school children. This language, perhaps condescendingly, often crashes into a series of ‘”you” and “I” dialogue. At that age, we are taught our place first, often wrongly, within the larger church. The larger context, of social responsibility and collective unity of all human beings, is often overshadowed by the lesson of the day. Catholicism does recognize collective ownership as represented by collective guilt, we do that very well.
However, our unity understanding, through the prism of our western culture which stresses individualism, and through the culture of multi-faith societies, has created a sense of helplessness when considering the magnitude of grave sin amongst believers, never mind the actions of non-believer or people of other faiths. We have default human response to attend to the controllable, to the “I.”
When we do that we are at crossroads with the basis of our faith. Jesus Christ came not for one individual or one cast of people, but all people, sinners and saints alike. The mystery of the bride of Christ (saints, the church, wayfarers) joining Christ in preparing for union as one is often lost as our multi-faith society and multi-nation society, often indistinguishable from each other, battle for earthly and religious superiority. Is this not reminiscent of the tower of Babel?
The entire bible addresses not relationships with individuals, but a call to all people. Some individuals are chosen to lead, but to lead for all, not for the self, the “I.”
The story of the greatest sacrifice and atonement for our sins was for all people (the Jews, the Christians, the romans, the pagans, their forefathers and all the generations to come). It is a new day.
Atonement means that Jesus sacrificed for all of our “lawlessness” and sins and united us as one, believers and unbelievers in solidarity. How incredibly frustrating this is for us Catholics. Aside that we are always seemingly sub par relative to the chosen (Saints) or even to the guy next door, we are on a team with murderers, rapist, child abusers, kidnappers, terrorist, atheist, Jews, ISIS, capitalist, communist, and every type of person who acts contrary to God’s nature.
In the face of overwhelming evil, how critical is it that we model, each according to our ability, the “visible communion as a visible solidarity” among those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ? Without the scripture, without the liturgy, without the Eucharist, without all the symbolism and signs of our faith, we are powerless to attract people to join us in salvation. The emptiness of soulless lives will require the constant feeding of temporal needs of which we will have no alternative to offer but our judgement and condemnation? How often do we see condemnation from our religious and political representatives without any visible solidarity with those they condemn?
Through the visible actions (not words) of attending church, praying, receiving the Eucharist, all the sacraments, helping the poor and living the word we can achieve greater peace (mind you we will still suffer) that can project the glory of God, with the grace of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, to all people. By merely acting and living like Catholics we can do more than by any acts of condemnation of our brothers in Christ.
Jesus did not die for my sins, although they are many, he died for all of our sins that we all maybe redeemed.