What is the basis for our justification? What do we believers seek in being justified?
Perhaps one response is our desire to be secure in our relationship with God. The Pharisee calmed his anxiety and answered where he stood in relationship to God by relying upon external criteria. There is merit to criteria. The works we do ought to be reflective of a deeper motivation. The danger is when the works are disconnected from the heart and become empty of meaning.
The tax collector had no good works to justify himself. He came before God with "not a leg to stand upon" and was totally at God's mercy.
In our poverty we become justified through God's loving design, yet-unearned graces lavishly bestowed upon us. Our justification flows from our relationship with God who is just. From this fuller realization of utter need and God's generous response our good works flow out as blessings to others. There is no self-justification. Our security rests in our ever-deepening relationship with God.
Sr. Mary Thomas
Senior Vice President Mission, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center
SIRACH 35:12-14, 16-18 ● PSALM 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23 ● 2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8, 16-18 ●LUKE 18:9-14