Grace to you!
God’s ways of relating with us are not complicated. God’s purifying grace aren’t complicated either. It seems too ordinary, too relational that many fail to see God in that ordinariness of life.
Many times, it is in those simple, day to day occurrences and events that God reveals His presence. It could be at the dinner table, in the kitchen, during walking out and at recreational centers; one thing, one flash and we are in touch with actual graces. Those moments fill out hearts with joy.
One of the reasons many failed to recognize Jesus as the Christ and that many today question his identify as the Messiah is because it looks too simple to be true. Do you remember that event in Scripture, when Jesus’ audiences in his hometown questioned his authority? They argued, after all, we know his father (he is the son of a carpenter), his mother and his relatives (Mt 13:54-58). They couldn’t fathom how someone so simple, from a very common and simple home of Mary and Joseph, could possibly be the Messiah. They failed to believe.
The story of Naaman, a Syrian Army general who was suffering from leprosy, as recorded in the Second Book of Kings 5:1-15b quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:24-30, is another example. Naaman came from a worldview that believed a miracle of healing has to be complicated. It has to be shrouded in esoteric incantations reserved only for the few. Perhaps, he wanted the prophet of the true God to do some magical incantations and ask him for difficult tasks, so he could feel he earned the healing. He didn’t know the grace of God isn’t like that.
Take for instance Baptism, the great sacrament of Christian initiation. Isn’t it the simple immersion or pouring of water by the minister upon the candidate in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that makes the baptized a new child of God? It doesn’t sound complicated. Does it?
Take a look at the Eucharist too. We believe that the simple prayer of consecration over the bread and the wine makes the substances become the Body and Blood of Christ. Our mysteries are powerful but not complicated.
Another example is Confession, or what is properly called the Sacrament of Reconciliation, because through it we receive mercy, grace and reconciliation with God. Just by the words of absolution, that is the prayer decreed over a sinner by the priest with the last phrase, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” forgiveness from sin is granted. It isn’t complicated.
The more you think about it, you realize that Christian life isn’t complicated. We relate with God as a friend, a brother, not a force out there beyond our reach. I love it.
Praying that during this Lent, we grow in a personal, deeper relationship with God; that is the interior life, life in the Spirit. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Lent, Week 3; 2Kings 5:1-15b; Lk 4:24-30]
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.