We continue with our review of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. The Righteousness of God which is offered us through the Gospel is what frees us. There is a tendency for us to follow only the external content of the law. “Don’t curse, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor authority, worship God…” That is, to regard or to be concerned only with the outward form of the law. How often do we follow the commandment but disregard the meaning? The rich young man attempting to justify himself argued with Jesus, “These I have kept since my youth.” (Matthew 19:20) Yet the Lord demands of us perfection. “You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.” That’s a requirement. That’s an ultimatum!
True, none of us are murderers. But we all have the capacity for anger. None of us has committed adultery. But we all have the capacity for lustful thoughts. The Savior does not look for rightness. He seeks humility, repentance and faith.
Christ Jesus. The Incarnate Word. Opens our ears to hear. Opens our minds to understand. And penetrates our cold broken hearts. To believe His Word. Lest the evil one come. And snatch it away. He transforms our rocky hearts into good soil. Which, clings to the Gospel. And, “indeed bears fruit.” (Matthew 13:23).
God never tires of hearing us repent. He doesn’t disregard it, treat it lightly, disparage the person repenting, or, throw them away. He mends. He heals. He forgives. He strengthens. And while we should always strive, as athletes do, not to fall, we do, and even if we should fall thousands of times, we stand back up, we repent, and God grants us forgiveness—for we are all the work of His hand.