But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
Today is Thursday the 17 October, the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
The St Thomas Music Group sing the Kyrie by Margaret Rizza: Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy. These imploring words, which have been sung for centuries, are a reminder of the inexhaustible mercy of God, of God’s unfailing compassion and forgiveness. As I listen, I might think for a moment about my need for that forgiveness, and the need, too, for me to show that same forgiveness to others.
Today’s reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Romans.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, Paul states emphatically here. Do you recognise yourself in that description? If so, what’s that like?
The good news, though, is that God has taken care of this sad situation. Not by making us perfect, but by sending us his Son. This has been described as knowing yourself to be a “sinner, yet loved”. Sit quietly, for a moment, in God’s presence, knowing yourself to be a loved although sinful person.
Notice, as you hear Paul’s words again the place that faith plays in his explanation of how God works.
As this prayer comes to an end, return to that image of yourself as a loved sinner. Speak to God in whatever ways that suggests to you.