Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reflection for First Sunday in Lent

Some of us suffering because we are burdened by past mistakes and we feel we can never do enough to satisfy God. We need to work harder and harder to make God love us. This striving causes innumerable hurts. But of course, that’s impossible because we will always fall short of our highest ideals. That’s where Paul’s words on faith and works gives us unmatched comfort.
21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Romans 3:21-30, italics mine.
 Father, prevent me from causing my own suffering by striving to make myself righteous in your eyes. You have already done that. Help me respond not with anxious striving, but gratitude.

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