December 26, 2014
Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr
Click here for the complete text of today’s readings.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety.
Jesus accepts me. That is the foundation of my relationship with him.
But acceptance implies forgiveness. In fact, constant forgiveness. Nobody’s perfect. So if true personal relationship depends on people accepting me as I am, I have to feel assured of their constant, ongoing forgiveness.
I can count on that from Jesus. He has promised it. He has shown it.
It isn't just forgiveness of sins. It’s forgiveness of what I am. Forgiveness for the way I think; for the things I desire, and for the things I should desire but don’t. Forgiveness for the way I feel.
Feelings are not free choices; we are never guilty for what we feel. But feelings come from somewhere, often from something deep inside of us. For Jesus to accept me, he has to accept me with whatever it is in me that makes me feel as I do. And sometimes act as I do.
I think I've lost a lot of friends that way.
But not Jesus. He never rejects me and never will. He forgives the way I feel, the way I think, the way I talk, the way I act. Over and over again. He accepts me the way I am and doesn’t get disgusted with me.
It makes a lot of difference in life to have a friend like that.
Practice: Feel secure in what Jesus gives ahead of time: fore-giveness.