Only God Can Deny You Salvation
A Reflection for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Tim
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFM
Mission Sts. Sergius and Bacchus/Order Franciscans of Divine Mercy

Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or
clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or
height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Romans 8:35-39
These words from the second reading for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time should bring comfort to all who have been made to
feel unwanted or rejected by some religious denominations.  No matter what, according to Saint Paul, absolutely nothing can
keep us separated from the love of Almighty God and from gaining eternal life in heaven if we live our lives with respect for all
God's children and creation and express true contrition for our weaknesses and failures.
No human being can deny anyone God's love or compassion or forgiveness nor can they deny access to heaven.  God and only
God has that power.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday also affirms that with God all things are possible.  
In the Gospel, Christ turns five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed five thousand people and there were still
twelve baskets of food left over.
Don't ever let any person be the cause of your giving up on God because God NEVER GIVES UP ON YOU.
Put yourself in God's hands and talk to Him every day, in fact often every day.  
Let God know that you desire to have a lasting relationship with Him.  
Yes, I call God “Father” and therefore male since that is how Christ referred to God.
It is God who is the source of all things and who determines who is and who is not worthy to enter into the company of the
Heavenly elect.
Humans are inferior and imperfect which means they are prone to make mistakes as history has taught us throughout the
years.  People who have eventually been declared saints where persecuted by the church only to have the church later admit
they were wrong.  
Paul in today's reading makes it very clear that nothing, absolutely nothing "no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come,
not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”   
To me the message is crystal clear, let nothing dissuade you and turn you away from the infinite love of Almighty God and His
beloved son, our redeemer and savior Jesus Christ, who came to this earth to proclaim the way, the truth and shed the light of
God's teachings and desires for us. Christ was the beacon that illuminated the way to be with God and the heavenly elect when
our time here on earth is completed.
Follow that light and keep it in your heart every day.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are not wanted or accepted by God.  
Even the worst of sinners can obtain forgiveness and be accepted into the heavenly kingdom.  Seek God and listen to what is in
your heart.  
Love God and live your life being faithful to God by loving one another as Christ loved and welcomed all He came in contact with.
Love of God and of each other is the greatest commandment according to Christ.
Let us live each day with love and trust of God securely in our heart and love for each other by living our lives with
consideration for the needs of all God's children and not just our own needs. Let us share the gifts we have been given by God
with those who are in need and support the servants of God who are attempting to affirm God's infinite love by welcoming all
God's children.  By loving God and trusting in Him and seeking equality and justice for all God's children, we live as Christ
instructed us.   God will never abandon us; do not ever allow anyone to cause you to abandon God.                 AMEN