Reflection for Thursday, October 16, 2003: 28th week in Ordinary Time.

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Crawford, Sue
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With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption...|| ..all have fallen short and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus [Romans 3:23-24]|| Grace. What an awesome concept! How wonderful that God gives far beyond what we could possibly deserve. Today is a good day to reflect on the wonderful gifts of grace that Jesus so freely grants. The verses in Romans for today include many familiar verses that discuss this awesome love of our God and the amazing depths of God's mercy. For many, the verses provide familiar and meaningful images of the mystery of atonement that deserve a second, slow, reflective reading. For others, the reading may become more meaningful if images of redemption that resonate with our culture are substituted for the images of blood sacrifice and atonement that seem much more remote to us. What are modern images of redemption that can help us reflect on this awesome grace of God? Debts paid in full? A chance to redo an assignment or project with no penalty? A purging of all records of past mistakes?|| Jesus offers redemption and grace and makes it clear that we are to go and do likewise. The gospel today offers one of His many warnings of the dangers of failing to do so. We are to offer reconciliation or redemption to others. We are to offer grace by giving of ourselves above and beyond that which is "deserved" by others. When we fail to do so, we become judgmental, self-righteous, and harsh. We set up unreasonable standards and withhold reconciliation, love, knowledge, or hope from others who fail to meet those standards. We forget the many ways in which we have received grace and opportunities for redemption and come to believe that we have every reason to boast and to remain firm in keeping out all whom cannot meet these standards. The assurance of grace and redemption in Romans and today's Psalm can give us the courage to consider the ways in which we may be withholding grace and reconciliation from others today. Gratitude for the grace and redemption of Jesus can renew our commitment to find ways to offer grace and redemption to others in the busyness of our day today. ||With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption...
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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