Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 7, 2011

Mandy Widegren

Freshman, Biology Major with Pre-Dental Focus

1 Jn 5:5-13
Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Lk 5:12-16

When you think about love stories, which come to mind? Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Cleopatra and Marc Antony? Well, this is truly the greatest love story ever told: God loved us so much that He sent down His only son to save the world. And through Jesus, we came to have eternal life. It says in John that Jesus came through not only water but water and blood. These symbolize how we obtain life through the living water of baptism and also through the blood of Christ, the Eucharist, which cleanses us from sin. God loved us so much as to give us the blood of Christ to save us. Yet, to gain eternal life we first have to let Him into our lives and trust in Him. John stresses the efficacy of faith when he says that whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. During this season we are called to ask ourselves if we truly and completely believe and trust in Jesus Christ during all times in our lives – the good and the bad. Do we turn to prayer in our time of need? Do we live our lives in Christ? Do we have complete confidence in Him?

There’s another aspect of this love story:  God loves us so much that He forgives our sins when we ask for His mercy. In Luke, leprosy represents a physical example of the invisible reality of sin – the incurable disease that affects us all. Jesus saves us from sin. No matter how bad they are, God loves us so much that He sent His only son to save us from these sins. And when we ask for forgiveness, God grants it. Like the leper who begged for Jesus to cleanse him, so can we ask for forgiveness.  Jesus reached out and touched the leper – a person whom others were not even supposed to get close to, much less touch. But Jesus, who is completely clean and pure, reached out and cleansed his leprosy. Jesus can do the same to us: He can forgive our sins and cleanse us if we ask for His forgiveness. Luke also says that the leper fell on his face when he saw Jesus. This is showing that we must all come down from our pride and self-righteousness all the way to the feet of Christ to be forgiven and cleansed. I am a sinner. I continuously fall, but God never ceases to forgive me and lift me back up. God shows His immense love by giving me mercy every time I come down from my pride and my sins to fall at His feet. And this is one of the most beautiful things – God never stops forgiving and He never stops loving. As St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Jesus reached out and cleansed the leper even though there were hundreds of others. We are the leper. We can all ask for forgiveness and be cleaned. We must not forget the love and mercy that He shows.

During this season we are called to reflect on God’s immense love for us and the eternal life that He has given to us if we believe and trust in Him. And we are called to be like the leper: to let go of our pride and ask for God’s unending mercy. As Rick Warren has said, “God is love. He didn’t need us. But He wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”  

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