What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.
But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckoned righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
We are saved through faith, and not by works.
There tend to be two kinds of people in the world. Some are always insisting on their “rights.” They want what they’ve earned, what’s “coming to them.” They pay their own way. They find it difficult to accept a gift, which would somehow put them in debt to another, or charity, which would lower them in their own estimation. They are frequently unhappy because they often think they deserve more than what they have.
Other people look at all the good things in their lives, but don’t pretend to have a just claim to any of them. Like Saint Ignatius at the end of his Spiritual Exercises, they see all things coming down from God as gracious gifts and manifestations of his love. Can we live our lives today in gratitude and joy, willing to regard even our crosses as blessings?
—Fr. Peter Fennessy, S.J. is a retreat director and spiritual counselor at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Give me only your love and your grace.
With these I am rich enough and need nothing more.
—St. Ignatius LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
Can we regard even our crosses as blessings?Please share the Good Word with your friends!
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered in thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translationPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
“Not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight…even the hairs on your head are all counted.” For me, one of the most beautiful moments during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States happened upon his arrival in Philadelphia. As his motorcade was leaving the airport, Francis noticed a 10 year old boy (Michael Keating) with cerebral palsy among the spectators. Michael was in a wheelchair and even though his head almost didn’t clear the waist high fence holding back the spectators, he was noticed by Pope Francis, who stopped the motorcade, got out of his car and went over to kiss him on his forehead and to give him a blessing. As the U.S. Catholic Church celebrates Respect Life Month this October, what a beautiful image Pope Francis has given us. We have a God who notices us, especially those who are frequently pushed to the margins and a God who desires to stop everything and to embrace us. Can we imitate that kind of love in our lives?
—Mr. Dave Lawler is a Campus Minister at Creighton Prep.Please share the Good Word with your friends!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the precious gift of life. Help us to cherish and protect this gift, even in the midst of fear, pain, and suffering. Give us love for all people, especially the most vulnerable, and help us bear witness to the truth that every life is worth living. Grant us the humility to accept help when we are in need, and teach us to be merciful to all. Through our words and actions, may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!