Grace

Instruments or Obstacles of Grace? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Instruments or Obstacles of Grace? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The question is, how would we fare if we were in their shoes? Because there is one thing of which we can be certain—God’s grace is ceaselessly reaching into the lives of the lost, seeking to draw them to Christ. Will we, then, be instruments of that grace or obstacles? Will we help draw others to Christ through the same availability and hospitality we see here in Christ–even to the most despised sinners? Or will we, like the crowd, shut them out from encountering God’s transforming love because we are so conditioned by our own judgments of others that we don’t have eyes to see God’s grace in their lives?

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Praying Grace for Others – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Praying Grace for Others – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

When I pray these short prayers…I find that the wellbeing of every person becomes important to me. I find I treat each person I meet better–less as a “thing” or a “tool” for my benefit, and more as a real person to love and to cherish…Perhaps this practice may seem artificial to you. I would suggest it is not…If we pray for someone when we meet them and as we leave them, everything in between will be bathed in our love and, we can be sure, God’s grace. What could be better?

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Compassion and Perfect Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Compassion and Perfect Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

We all implicitly know that Samaritan is the only one who exhibits the love of God in his actions and that, as a result, the religious figures are proven to be hypocrites in their inaction. We even know that we are called to be like the Samaritan by showing compassion to all those around us. But the text is not simply suggesting that because we are the people of God we should have compassion on people in need because that’s what our religion calls us to—whether as Jews or Christians. No, the text—Jesus—is making clear that this is how we are called to be and to act because that is who God is, and we are called to be the people of God.

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Poverty and Glory – Meditation in the Studies of Gospel of Luke

Poverty and Glory – Meditation in the Studies of Gospel of Luke

It was into the hands of the simple, the poor, the despised and rejected that God entrusted not only the care of His most precious Son, but also the announcement of the extraordinary news of his birth, despite the fact that their testimony would not have been received (let alone believed) by many.

This is a reality that we all need to take on board, not only for our selves, but also for others. There is no one so simple, so despised that they are not to receive the extraordinary news of God’s love for them and his desire to bring them into a saving relationship with Himself…
Nor are there individuals who are so simple or whose lives are so obscure that they cannot be bearers of Christ in ways that powerfully impact not only the world around them, but also the world at large.

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Grace and Obedience – Fourth Meditation in the Studies of 1 Peter

Grace and Obedience – Fourth Meditation in the Studies of 1 Peter

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, our obedience to His command is a double response to what he has already done. It is first the response of gratitude, our due thanks for his gift. Second, it is the response of trust. Knowing that he has already shown he has our best interests at heart, we are certain that whatever he asks is for our well being.

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Abundant Grace – First Reading in Preparation for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Abundant Grace – First Reading in Preparation for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is how it always is with God. His grace is not just sufficient, it is abundant. There is always some left over. When he sets a table, it is a banquet. When he pours the wine, “my cup runneth over”. His gifts are not miserly but lavish. It is his pleasure to pour out blessing. This we must know and claim in every corner of our lives and every day of our lives. Yes, we face grave difficulties and hard times, but we must know that his promise is for us: “They shall eat and there shall be some left over.” As Jesus himself said, “Fear not, little flock, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give……”(Luke 12:32)

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Boasting in the Lord – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Boasting in the Lord – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we grow in our spiritual life, as we serve more and more, as we accomplish greater things for God, our fallen human nature tends toward taking more and more of the credit and, eventually, trying to do more and more on our own so we can get the credit. We begin doing things more FOR Jesus than WITH and THROUGH Him. Sadly, the result is the demise of our own soul and the diminishing and souring of all we do. No wonder Paul was thankful for those gifts of weakness in his life. They are what reminded him of his need for grace.

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All About Grace – Second Reading in Preparation for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

All About Grace – Second Reading in Preparation for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is not just that in Christ they have received an example to emulate; it is that in Christ they have received God himself, pouring himself out to and for people so that they might be near him and have life in him. Having received this incomparable grace, they are called to become sources of it through their own self-giving in the world around them, in order that others, too, might have that life.

And in so doing, they not only give themselves to the world around them, but they give the One who is in them and acts through them.

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Life from the Dead – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Life from the Dead – Second Reading in Preparation for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

“Often today people don’t believe there is much wrong with the human race and with themselves in particular. As a result they don’t see very much need for God’s grace…All that God has to offer, it seems, is a kind of spiritual enhancement of ordinary life, a gentle enrichment of what’s already there rather than a radical rescue from imminent danger…But Paul’s gospel is all about grace that is more than mere enrichment. It gives life to the dead.” (N.T. Wright)

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Come to the Banquet! – Gospel for the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come to the Banquet! – Gospel for the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“It is true that the door is open to all men, but when they come they must bring a life which seeks to fit the love that has been given them. Grace is not only a gift; it is a grave responsibility. A man cannot go on living the life he lived before he met Jesus Christ. He must be clothed in a new purity and a new holiness and a new goodness. The door is open, but the door is not open for the sinner to come and remain a sinner, but for the sinner to come and become a saint.” –William Barclay

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