Grace to you!
It warms my heart whenever I remember that in Christ, God draws me into a relationship. God is constantly reaching out for you and for me. It’s humbling. Amazing grace!
For many religions, humans themselves chisel the path to divinity. People create their gods or their images of divinity and worship them. The relationship with “God” (if we would use that concept) becomes a human struggle to achieve spiritual progress. It’s comparable to, if not grouped as, one of many human accomplishments such as an academic certificate or the purchase of a new car or a new home.
Exodus 32 is a typical example of the human creation of a personal god. The golden calf is the symbol of man-made gods. I tell you, there are many of such in our world today. The difference is that while the case in Exodus 32 was about sculptured image, today’s man-made gods are more subtle and hi-tech. They are enthroned in the mind and are inscribed in policies and laws.
People create their god. Paradoxically, their god worships them because the god they want is the one that endorses their ways of life and is a moral justification for their improprieties. Such a god must reflect the image of their gold and silver, a god conditioned and controlled by economics or politics.
In Christianity, it’s actually God who is searching for us. God’s revelation of Godself, which is mercy and love in Christ, is to bring us into a unique, holy and blessed relationship.
From the call of Abraham to the event of the burning bush, during which Moses came to know the I AM, through the prophets and the fullness of Divine Revelation in Christ, we see God taking the initiative.
God’s grace is God’s mercy in practice. Our relationship with God isn’t our merit. It’s God’s grace, which in relation to us who are sinners, is mercy too.
When we read the three stories of forgiveness in the Gospel of Luke 15, we are fascinated by the mercy, grace and love of God in the imagery of a shepherd, a woman and a father.
In dealing with us, God is like the shepherd who would go all out to search and find the lost sheep. God is like the woman who would not sleep until she found her missing coin. Equally, God is like the Father of the prodigal son, who is extravagant in his heart of mercy, throwing a party for the wayward who returned home. “Let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.”
This is good news for all and for you. Didn’t you know God is the one drawing us to Himself? Didn’t you realize that God’s mercy is opulent to save you? Didn’t you realize that God’s mercy and grace exceed, far more than the dirt of sin and spiritual impoverishment?
God’s unfailing love and mercy call for our gratitude and a yes. The yes is a U-turn, away from sinful ingratitude to a life of grace.
God wouldn’t force us into a relationship. Rather, we have received the open invitation set before and within us, in our hearts. The location and program are set. The wedding eve’s party is already commenced every time we celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments. One day we shall be united with God in the heavenly banquet and the robe of righteousness would never fade.
Let this promise be your constant and blessed assurance. God isn’t giving up on you and God isn’t going to give up on your loved one who is mired in the squalor of unbelief, either. Keep the prayer coming. Mercy and Grace would usher the moment of reconciliation. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[24th Sunday C: Ex 32:7-11,13-14; 1 Tim 1:12-14; Lk 15:1-32]
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.