With school having just started, we thought who better to feature for this month's #CatholicsofToronto, then Dr. Josie Lombardi! Dr. Josie works as a Professor at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto! Hope you enjoy her witness of faith!

“The word Catholic means ‘Universal’. This means the Church is for all people, regardless of race, culture, gender, or status. All people are welcome and invited to know Jesus and to be initiated into the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, meaning all baptized Christians make up the one body of Christ, with Jesus as the head of the body. We are called to be like Jesus, who was fully human and divine. In his divinity, he reveals the Father, and in his humanity he reveals the best of humanity. This is why St. Paul called him the “New Adam.” Jesus helps us to be our best selves. Jesus’ name means “God saves.” His name reveals his mission. Remember when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple and Simeon greeted them by saying to God, ‘My eyes have seen your salvation.”

The deeper meaning of salvation:

There is a big misunderstanding of what Salvation means. Most people would say that it means that we get to go to Heaven, which is true, but that’s where we receive the fullness of the gift, which is divine health. ‘Salus’ in Latin, which translated into English as Salvation, means health. Jesus’s name in Hebrew mean 'God saves’, so God reveals His mission through the name of Jesus.

Salvation is divine health and restoration of humanity. Christ loves us too much to leave us where we are. With His love and through His grace over time, if you have really and truly encountered Him, then you should be changing for the better. Christ came so that we can be like Him.

When people go to mass, there is a prayer during the preparation of the gifts that the priest says quietly, “By the mystery of this water in wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” By Jesus emptying Himself out, we can be like Him. In the Second Letter of Peter (2:4), we are reminded that we can be partakers in Christ’s divinity. We partake in His divine nature, and that’s the mystery that we celebrate when we come together in the Eucharist. He became one of us, so we can be like Him. And that is what Salvation is. Our whole person responds; our physiology responds to God’s grace and love when we are sanctified, the holiness is manifested in our body too. For example, when we look at incorruptible saints like St. Padre Pio or St. Bernadette, or even when we look at Mary, she is so incredibly beautiful because she loves, her body is sanctified through her love for God and for her children.”

#CatholicsOfToronto Part 1/4 … Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

📷: Anna Dzieciol Photography

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