Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I share some inspiring words on how you, as an individual, are blessed to be Christ to others.
Sarah, not her real name, opened her door one morning after a knock at the door. She stood face to face with a young man who was not of her race. At first, she was afraid. But the man’s gentle smile and calming voice was reassuring. Handing her a basket full of food, he told her it was all from their church. We thought you may need it, he said.
No sooner had she thanked the man and went in to put the food down than the man vanished into thin air. She looked through the window to see from the direction the man came but couldn’t find a trace. The food came at the right time because she had no food for her and her three children for that day. She stills believes it was an angel.
Imagine yourself at that very moment when you’re in the worst situation of your life. Imagine the time when you needed a savior. Imagine when it seems the world around you has crumbled. Or the time your family is struggling, your marriage is crumbling, your friends have abandoned you, your health is deteriorating, and you are struggling to make ends meet. Imagine that time.
Every person has their moments. Everyone has a time when they’re seriously under the weather.
Years back, following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonian King (587 or 586 BCE), Judah in particular was crushed. They hit bottom. The Babylonian captivity had done a grave wound to the psyche of the people. They needed a savior and restoration.
Amidst that hopeless situation, God always finds a way to send a savior. Many years later, the Lord inspired Nehemiah, an official (he was first the cupbearer) of King Artaxerxes of Persia, alongside Ezra the priest, to be God’s special instrument to rebuild Judah and restore the community. The memoirs of Ezra and Nehemiah as recorded in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of God’s saving grace. Nehemiah chapter 8, describes the tears of joy, I suppose, the people had when they finally united in the temple to read the Torah and celebrate their restoration.
God finds one, or two, or a few who would be anointed to bring the saving grace to others. Wouldn’t it be an honor to be one of those?
When the Lord, the Savior, shows up in Galilea and in Nazareth as the writer of the Gospel of Luke describes it (Lk 4:14-19), he embodies the Old Testament prophesy of Isaiah (61:1-2) that speaks directly to the mission of the Savior. The Lord is anointed specifically for the mission: to bring the good news to the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the blind, freedom for the oppressed, and to proclaim the year acceptable to the Lord. Jesus, the Christ, fulfills this mission and is in fact this Good News of God to you and to me and to all.
You may say, but he came over two thousand years ago and has returned to the Father. What about now? Well, the Lord lives on. He lives on and continues to carry on the same mission. He carried it through that man who brought food and hope to the starving woman and her babies.
The Lord lives on in his body, the Church. For those born anew in this body through baptism, and those who keep the organs of spiritual vitality alive in their soul through faith and life of grace, the Lord continues to live on. The Lord lives on in you as one born anew in the Water and the Spirit.
The Lord who lives on in you as a person and in his Church as the family of God, gifts each one for that beautiful mission of being Christ to others. Baptized into this one body of Christ, we drink of one spirit (1 Cor 12:13) and are to live as Christ to others.
This is one of the most fascinating things about being born anew in the Lord. The Lord makes you and me his special messengers to carry on the mission of liberty, freedom and hope for the poor and to many. He gifts us with incredible gifts, as 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 describes. We are sent and equipped from above to become another Christ wherever we find themselves. Your gifts and mine are part of the same body and are worth sharing and worth celebrating. No room for pitting one against another.
What is it the Lord has given you? What favors have you received? What charisms do you find in this body? Use those to be Christ to others. Remember, you are given that inspiration, that idea, that message, that vision, that grace of healing, that material wealth, that intelligence, that discernment, etc., so as to make your family, your community, your workplace, wherever you find yourself, and with whom you relate, a pleasant, joyful and fulfilling experience.
Be the Christ people would see and give glory to the heavenly Father. Praying for the grace to do so. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; Cor 12:12-30 or 12:12-14, 27; Lk 1:1-4:4:14-21]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.