Jesus Saves

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 19, 2019

Every now and then, I see a church with a sign that says Jesus Saves. Usually the church is a Protestant Church. Often the church is small and the sign is big. The words Jesus Saves, I assume, summarize that church’s particular slant on the Christian faith. That slant is an important one.

But the question arises, “Whom does Jesus save?” The short answer is me, is you, is all of us. The second question that comes up is this: “From what does Jesus save me, you, and us?” Again, there is a short answer: sin. But sin or the consequences of sin can take many different forms such as death, destruction, immorality, wickedness, injustice, hatred, violence, addiction, meaninglessness.

The very name Jesus implies salvation. When Joseph is tossing and turning in bed shortly after learning that Mary, his fiancé is pregnant, an angel appears in a dream and tells him to take Mary as his wife. The angel adds, “She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).

The other day I was reflecting on the two words Jesus Saves. And I wrote this short prayer. It is a prayer addressed to Jesus to save us from those things that are (in some ways) sin or things that can lead to sin. As you pray these words, see if any of them touch your heart.

 

Jesus, you are the savior of the world. You are our savior. We ask you to save us from these things:

Save us from fear that can prevent us from doing things that are good, helpful, and beautiful.

Save us from worry that saps our strength and makes us forget your words, “I am with you always.”

Save us from a lack of attention to the everyday beauty and mystery of this planet we are privileged to call home.

Save us from self-centeredness that hinders us from noticing the pain and suffering, beauty and goodness of others around us—our loved ones, our neighbors, our fellow human beings in the larger world.

Save us from cynicism that says, “A better world is not possible… All people are innately selfish… You can’t make anything better, so why even try.” Give us the grace to believe instead in the ever-present possibility of positive transformation.

Save us from giving up our daily prayer because we don’t have time… we’re not good at praying… And nothing happens anyway. Instead, inspire us to converse with you every single day.

Save us from violence in word (Saying things like, “You idiot!” or spreading gossip about someone) and gesture (slamming doors, giving someone the silent treatment or the finger). Lead us to be people of peace.

Save us from a lack of personal integrity, one of the most precious gifts we can possess. Keep us honest with ourselves, with other people, and with you.

Save us from a lack of love. May we never label others as “unlovable.”

Save us from a lack of forgiveness. May we follow the example of your forgiveness even as you hung on the cross.

Save us from refusing to pray for or reach out to those we are tempted to dismiss as obnoxious, crazy, or a lost cause.

And finally, save us from taking everything in life so seriously, we lose our God-given sense of humor and playfulness.

We ask for these things, Jesus, through the power, persistence, and creativity of your Amazing Spirit. Amen.

 

Did you find yourself in any of these words or phrases?

What else do you think we should ask Jesus to save us from?

As we saw, Jesus’ name means savior or deliverer. Here is a song that celebrates that name. It is called “What a Beautiful Name” and is sung here by Hillsong Worship. This particular video is from a concert given in Sidney, Australia in 2016. (If the lyrics don’t show, just click “cc.”)

I welcome you to respond below to anything in this reflection. We’d love to hear from you!

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas DeFreitas August 19, 2019 at 4:01 am

Sr. Melannie, hello!

I am deeply moved by your litany/prayer. What spoke to me most were the intercessions about violence in word and gesture (I can seethe with all manner of resentment), and about a lack of attention. To be serenely attentive. To receive what Caussade and others have called “the sacrament of the present moment.” To be vulnerable and open. To look on created things with reverence and with joy.

Thank you again for your holy words.

peace and light
Tom

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Roseann August 19, 2019 at 5:46 am

Thank you, Sr. Melannie for such a beautiful prayer. Every verse is so vital for our souls. I could envision this as a beautiful needlepoint displayed in every Church entrance for a meditation to prepare for Holy Mass.

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John E Hopkins August 19, 2019 at 6:19 am

Good morning, Sr. Melannie….

Your prayer was very healing for me. I agree with Roseann; it should be “displayed in every Church entrance for a meditation to prepare for Holy Mass.”

When I was young — a college student — I worshiped and prayed with many evangelical brothers and sisters. I went to their services and marveled at their openness to praise with hands raised. Raised a Catholic, this type of worship seemed totally exotic, but also thick with the Holy Spirit. Soon, I too had my hands in the air!

But I also heard expressions like this: “I used to be a Catholic but now I’m a Christian.” And the word “saved” meant saved from eternal damnation. Therefore, the joy and exuberance I experienced with the evangelicals was always tinged with fear: fear of being Catholic, fear of being really “saved”, fear that my loved ones weren’t saved. I became a charismatic Catholic so as to have the best of both worlds.

But as I got older, my prayer became more contemplative, and I’ve found our Catholic faith has a rich history in this type of prayer. Still, in the back of my mind, there lurked that nagging doubt: “Are you sure you’re saved?”

Your beautiful prayer has helped to erase that doubt. Yes, I am!

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Kathleen Magiera August 19, 2019 at 6:34 am

What a beautiful prayer Sr. Melannie!

I like one of the last lines “and save us from taking everything in life so seriously.” That line is such a good reminder of the playfulness of God.

Blessings to all.

Kathleen

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Kathy August 19, 2019 at 7:19 am

Thank you sr Melanie. The verses that said the most to me today are:

Save us from worry that saps our strength and makes us forget your words, “I am with you always.”
And
Give us the grace to believe instead in the ever-present possibility of positive transformation.
Grateful today for starting the work week once again with your reflection.

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Pete August 19, 2019 at 7:22 am

Jesus Saves! Jesus Loves! It is so easy to stray from this path, your prayer brings it back. I love the song, even more now than when I sang it in choir last year. Another great Monday morning.

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Toni Wilken August 19, 2019 at 9:08 am

Thank you for spelling out what randomly comes up in my prayer. I have printed it out to include in my daily practice. You are so intuitive to my spiritual needs, and I’m sure this is true for many, if not all, of your readers. Blessings on your ministry! ✝️

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Christine August 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

Sr. Melanie ~ Your inspirational litany/prayer reminds me of the following quote – but I don’t remember where I read it: “The Jesus experience is redemptive, saving us from self-absorption, triviality, enslavement to the expectation of others, scripts handed down by our families, and boundaries drawn by our culture or society”.

Thank you for your down-to-earth approach to living our Christian life and to prayer.

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Joe Johnson August 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

Jesus, please save us:
From ourselves- save us from the vengeance in our hearts and the acid in our souls;
Save us from the lust in our brain and replace it with trust;

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Patty Sprofera August 19, 2019 at 10:47 am

Lovely, thank you, Sister.

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Jean Canatsey August 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

Thank you Sr. Melannie for the beautiful prayer. My husband and I had been agonizing over the first prayer, “Save us from fear that can prevent us from doing things that are good, helpful, and beautiful.” We had just decided to move forward when that blessed assurance came in the form of your morning blog. Jesus saves!

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Jane August 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm

As someone else said…..I believe that Jesus saves us from ourselves….enabling us to put aside those things that are detrimental to our being…..Jesus saves us from taking the wrong path as we journey through life.

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joan metzger August 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Such a beautiful song, and to see so many young people praising the name of Jesus. It makes my heart glad.

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Tom August 19, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Thanks for bringing to light a good representation of the things that we need to be saved/freed from. These can so easily lose their significance in a world where we tend to focus on material things.

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Mike August 20, 2019 at 7:18 am

Thank you Sister. Your prayer was exactly what I needed to make my own!

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Ellie August 23, 2019 at 11:04 am

A bit late on reading email but just as meaningful this Friday morn.
I need to pay attention to the personal integrity for self .Easy to look good on the outside but confession is truly a saving grace for my inner self,
Thank you for all your prayer litany.

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