Reflection for Monday, March 14, 2022: 2nd Week of Lent.

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Zuegner, Carol
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|When I write my reflections for this wonderful ministry, I will be honest: I often procrastinate, wait for inspiration, furrow my brow over the gospel message. I am not a theologian, so my reflections are usually deeply personal, essentially what I think and feel from my head and my heart about the readings and my prayers for the day. I can say that today's gospel and my reflection are gifts. That's appropriate because today is my birthday. Today's gospel message is a gift for all of us. A gift that we should unwrap every day. Indeed, a gift that I could unwrap many times a day as a reminder to be merciful.  How often do I judge others out of a sense of my own misguided righteousness? How often do I condemn as a way to make myself feel better? How often do I seek forgiveness without extending forgiveness to others, wrapped up in my own feelings of hurt pride?|I don't have to be that way. I can extend mercy, and in today's world, mercy is needed more than ever. I can step out of my righteousness and consider what others are going through before even thinking about making a judgement. I can pray for those I would condemn. I can ask for understanding and compassion as I offer those gifts to those around me.|I know it will be a struggle sometimes as I fold those judgements and condemnations around me like a cloak. But as I let go of that cloak, I can feel the weight of all that judgement, condemnation and perceived slights fall away. I can be open to giving and know that God will be merciful to me. Let me work on extending mercy and being open to feeling God's mercy  as a gift "packed together, shaken down, and overflowing." 
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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