Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

October 13, 2011

Liz Halfmann

Junior, Theology and Social Work Double Major,
Spanish Minor

Rom 3:21-30
Ps 130:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab
Lk 11:47-54

We’re walking down the street in a new city.

“I am so pumped to go out tonight!” she says. “I just love getting wasted; the clubs are, like, so much more fun after that—and I seriously can’t wait to hook up with some locals!”

I register her words…and without even thinking, I do it.

I judge.

Fake. She’s totally fake. “Who the heck are you to even imagine what you’ve just said could be a good idea? Who are you trying to impress?” I think to myself.

And then a deep sadness comes over me not only because of her lack of self-respect, but even more because of my own reaction. In that moment I chose not to respond in love, telling the girl of her invaluable worth, but to stand there, stunned and thinking about how I could never associate with her again. How depressing.

“For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:22b-23)

All have sinned. All. Even me. Especially me. So who am I to judge? This realization is a brush with humility and helps me realize, in those moments I find myself falling into judgment of others, that there is no room for boasting of myself or my way of life over another’s when we’re both drowning in the same boat of sin (Rom 3:27a).

It’s times like these when I realize how incredibly selfish, prideful, judgmental, and forgetful of God’s unconditional love I am that I turn to Psalm 130. It’s a psalm I’m familiar with; one that’s repeated week after week in Wednesday’s Night Prayer of the Church as found in the Liturgy of the Hours. It begins:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice!

So many times I’ve found myself closing my day reflecting on the depths of my sinfulness pleading for God’s mercy and compassion, thinking, “well, shoot, ‘If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?’

However…the psalm continues: “But with you is forgiveness…because with the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” Translation: We are not made to dwell indefinitely in the depths of our sinfulness or even in our contrition for our sinfulness!

Even St. Paul’s aforementioned Letter to the Romans, after reminding us we’re all sinners, reminds us further that we are made to be free, not tied down by our sins: “[We] are justified freely by his [God’s] grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus.”  

So here’s the thing: yes, we screw up a lot. We’re human. But that’s not an excuse. Every sin still deprives us of God’s glory. However, our God is a loving God and desires that we, his children, live free from the bondage and depth of sin. The Father’s merciful and unfathomable love drove him to send his Son to save us from that bondage and lead us back to the freeing Truth of his love.

So today, if you will, take a moment to reflect on your week thus far—where you’ve faltered, where you’ve witnessed to love. Ask for forgiveness where it’s needed, perhaps recognizing the powerfully freeing grace present in the Sacrament of Confession. And then dwell in God’s infinite love, knowing that that’s exactly where you were made to be.

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