But now, apart from 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.
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.
In these few verses, Paul allows us to see who we are, who God is, and what God has done for us. The central message is stated repeatedly, and with clarity: righteousness is given to us through faith in Jesus Christ. We are justified, or made righteous, through a gift freely given by God. This is a grace offered to us as sinners, and comes unmerited and unearned.
In the first week of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius indicates a desire for us to be moved by the mercy and goodness of God. Sitting with this scripture passage, may we be similarly stirred, and thereby inspired, to make a generous response of love.
Today the church remembers Saints John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, Jesuit priests and martyrs, and their companions. May their witness inspire us to ask: How can I model the radical generosity of God to those I encounter today?
My beloved Jesus, here and now I offer my body and blood and life. May I die only for you, if you will grant me this grace, since you willingly died for me. Let me so live that you may grant me the gift of such a happy death. In this way, my God and Savior, I will take from your hand the cup of your sufferings and call on your name: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
—From the spiritual diaries of St. John de Brebeuf