Grace to you!
A man was shocked by his action. He let his guard down and did what he thought he had outgrown, having known the Lord for decades. "It was the most humbling moment of my life," he said.
Sometimes, we read the fall and brokenness of others with a prideful sense of judgment. Often, this occurs, especially when we are enjoying the grace of victory over those kinds of behavior. We forget that except for the grace of God, we could do worse.
As a devout Christian, a Catholic (for that matter), have you considered how you came to faith in the Lord? Have you reflected on the spiritual practices it took for you to overcome some of your weaknesses and vices? Have you reflected on how your heart was touched to notice and appreciate God’s love? Or have you pondered on the blessings of seeing God’s love around you and the fact that God is present and real to you?
To come to this kind of knowledge is not ordinary. It is the grace granted by God. It’s a comforting and refreshing awareness.
To know that God loves us not because of us but despite us is refreshing. It is an uncommon grace to see God around us in the poor, the broken-hearted, the sick, and other human situations. To walk into a church and see God in the silence, and touch God’s hands and relish God’s smiles during worship, especially in the Eucharistic celebration, is an incredible grace. To see God amidst chaos and scandals is a tremendous grace.
Don’t forget that some people may come to the same places and not see God at all. Some people may see the human brokenness, and instead of seeing God calling us to act, be turned away from God. That we see God in those realities should make us humble and appreciative. That we enjoy freedom from particular vices by God's grace should also make us grateful and humble. We need to remember what grace that has been given to us.
Like the parable of the talents in the Gospel (Mt. 25:14-30), it is a privilege to receive divine talents and be a steward for innumerable blessings.
The Church of Corinth received many blessings from the Lord. First was the grace of conversion into Christ plus their unique vocations as those called by the Lord into his life. The new life in Christ they received resulted in numerous other blessings that led to the community's spiritual growth. Among them was an incredible manifestation of the charismatic gifts which God gives to the Church for her flourishing and service. Those gifts are there for us. No one outdoes God in generosity. God pours the gifts to as many hearts as possible that are ready to be used by Him. God desires to use us to transform society and bless many in the community. The Corinthian Church was blessed indeed and witnessed these sorts of giftings.
Saint Paul reminds them as he reminds us that the gifts we’ve received from the Lord are a call to service and humility. Since our vocation is by God's grace and the blessings flowing from that call are also by the initiative of God, we should not boast about it as if they were by our merit. Bragging about what is not our merit isn't wisdom.
We are not to boast about gifts because gifts are not of our own making or strictly because of our merit. Hence, they are called gifts. We are not to boast about our faith in the sense of counting it as a result of our smartness. It isn't due to our power or our family or community tradition or because of our efforts either. We received it, for sure. But God gave it anyway.
If we must boast, it must be in praise of God for the graces we’ve received. Saint Paul admonishes us: “Whoever boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 2:31).
I am praying that we may live a life of gratitude to God for the grace of our conversion and spiritual awakening. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 21 Ordinary Time B: 1 Cor 1:26-31; MT 25:14-30]
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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.