Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 9th, 2010

Mike Cherney

Physics Department
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Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
[387] Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9; 12-13, 14+17
Matthew 10:16-23

How can I be so stupid? I find that I say this to myself much too often. I am fortunate in having a loving and forgiving God. He does not punish us as our failures might warrant. I am well aware of my weaknesses and sins. I feel guilt for many of the things that I have done as well as many of the things that I should have done. It is clear that I could have done better. The passage from Hosea presents a model for rehabilitation of the sinner rather than punishment for failures. This is a loving God who takes us back even when we may not deserve it.

The psalm shows love and praise flowing from the Lord’s forgiveness. It is a response not only to a “cleansing” but also to the liberation brought about by the Spirit. The Gospel carries the theme of the strength of the Spirit guiding us in moments of challenge.

In my own life I have little problem in gratefully and joyously accepting God’s forgiveness. (I am a Catholic who still has a real appreciation of the sacrament of Reconciliation.) I welcome the empowerment that the Spirit provides. Still I perceive myself as weak in the trust in the Lord that all three passages seem to request. I was disturbed by this when I started this reflection. In the meantime I was granted a bit of comfort. I attended Sunday mass in a chapel dedicated to St. Peter. It was interesting to see how Peter was portrayed. On the side there was a statute in which he was holding the keys. However in the central location above the altar there was a painting that showed Christ walking on the water in a storm; it also showed Peter sinking. I was comforted in realizing that I was in good company in my weakness. The Gospel gives a charge to the apostles. I think of weaknesses for the apostles. The Gospel asks quite a bit, but it reminds me that even those of us whose faith does not let us walk on water have the support of the Spirit.

Today I pray in thanksgiving for God’s forgiveness. I pray for assistance in the challenges of this world.

Heavenly Father, You free us from the weights that we carry due to our mistaken actions (as well as the opportunities for good that we have missed). Thank you for your liberating forgiveness. You are the source of love and grace. Allow us to experience the strength and trust that the Spirit brings.

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