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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

November 24th, 2013
Madeline Zukowski

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“And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” – LK 23: 41

Sometimes I listen to what people say in the gospels and I am shocked by what they say to each other and what they say to Jesus.

For example, in today’s gospel, we see Jesus hanging on the cross between two criminals and one of them asks Jesus to save him.  The other criminal responds and explains that he deserves the punishment because it “corresponds” to his crime.

I look at the criminal who asked Jesus to save him and think, “How could he say that to Jesus? How could he be so selfish?  He deserves his punishment.”  

And then I remember that criminal is me at times.  He’s probably been you at times. 

We all want to believe that we are faultless.  We don’t want to admit we do wrong things. We like to imagine we are perfect.  We like to think that if we are struggling, the world or God is punishing us for no good reason.  That makes us feel better about our sadness or our “downs” in life; we are perfect so it’s someone else’s fault we are having a bad day.   

The truth is all humans do make mistakes, no matter how hard we try to ignore the fact. We should find comfort in that we share that with each other.  We are supposed to make mistakes.  Why? Because we learn from them.  It’s how we become better people.  If we were all perfect, there would be no reason for us to exist. 

I think the second criminal, the one who reminds the first one that both of them deserve the punishment, sees that.  He’s learned from his mistake and is willing to except his punishment.  And Jesus forgives him. 

Let us ask God to help us admit our mistakes, learn from them, and realize that we are just human.  Let us not forget that although we are human, God loves us beyond what our humans hearts can even imagine.     

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