Grace to you!
A man was shocked by his own 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 judgement. Often, this occurs, especially, when we are enjoying the grace of victory over those kinds of life. We forget that except for the grace of God, we could possibly do worse.
As a believer, 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 common. It is grace. It is granted by God. It’s a comforting and refreshing awareness.
To know that God loves us not because of us but in-spite of us is refreshing. To have the grace to see God around us; in the poor, the broken-hearted, the sick and human situations is grace granted to a few. 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 an incredible 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 the grace of God should also make us grateful and humble. We need to constantly 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 vocation 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 spiritual growth of the community. 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 to transform society, and as many communities in need. The Corinthian Church was blessed indeed.
Saint Paul reminds them as he reminds us that the gifts we’ve received from the Lord is a call to service and humility. Since our call is by the grace of God 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. Boasting 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, our power or our family or community tradition or because of our efforts.
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).
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]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.