Grace to you!
Yesterday, I shared some thoughts on the freedom the Lord grants anyone who believes in him and remains in his word. Today, I reflect on how this abiding love in Christ is a virtuous life of grace which guarantees us eternal life.
Do you remember that time you did sometime that was not so good? Or when you did something that was outrightly bad, sinful. You tried to sober up the experience. Perhaps you drink. You want to drink it off. But the lack of peace of soul doesn’t go away. You watch television all day long just to distract your mind. You want the bad taste in your soul to fizzle out. You go to recreational facilities. You search for social actions to quell the silent voice within. Yet, you know the soul is suffocating for air.
In other words, you know the grace of sanctification isn’t there anymore. In reality, actual grace reminding you that something needs to be done quickly is still there. It is that which speaks to you. It wants fresh air. It wants healing. It wants to grant you your portion of the saving gift of God for that moment. It wants your soul to make amends and truly be free from what could result—eternal death. It wants you to restore and keep on a virtuous track. God does all these. The Lord is so close to us to heal us. He keeps knocking and nudging. His nudges are actual grace.
The Lord Jesus speaks to this kind of situation. He provides a wholesome recipe for such a healing. He says, “Amen, amen, I say to you. Whoever keeps my word will never see death.” (Jn 8:51). This is so. The Lord is the I AM (Jn 8:58). He lives just like the Father, plus the Spirit lives.
The Lord isn’t speaking of physical death. He is speaking of spiritual death that deprives us of our eternal home in heaven. As Saint Thomas Aquinas commenting on this Gospel of John says: “The truth of grace will liberate us from the slavery of sin: ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed us from the law of sin and death’ (Rm 8:2)” (Commentary on St. John 8).
As we gradually come to the close of Lent, if there is any better plan of action, it is to walk in the light of God. It is to remind oneself that nothing is more important than keeping God’s Word. It is to tuck God’s Word in our heart. It is to think about it. It is to celebrate it. It is to live by it. Such saves. Such is eternal life.
Praying for the grace of fidelity in keeping God’s Word in our lives. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, Lent, Week 5: Gn 17:3-9; Jn 8:51-59]
Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections for the season of Lent your individual spiritual edification. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations. .