Sunday, July 08, 2012

Grace is Sufficient

Grace is Sufficient

by Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
July 8, 2012
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time B
Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.  But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD!  And whether they heed or resist--for they are a rebellious house-- they shall know that a prophet has been among them.  Ezekiel 2:4-5
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10
And they took offense at him.  Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house."  So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith.  Mark 6:3c-6


Doing are job well is a sign of a healthy piety.  Working poorly reveals lack of purpose in our soul.  The desire to do our best at what we are working on brings results.  Piety is in how we work for the Lord.  Piety does not cut corners.  It puts us smack in the middle of the straight and narrow path that leads to heaven.  Piety is how we walk in the footsteps of the Lord.  Piety is the drive that pulls us closer and closer to the Lords way of doing things.  Putting on the mind and heart of Christ is how piety finds the closer walk with the Lord.  Love brings us to a oneness with the beloved.  Nothing that we do for the beloved is too good.  There is born in piety the desire of doing the Magis.  The Magis is the more that our hearts push us to do out of love of Christ.  Christ has loved us unto his death on the cross.  The no greater love until we have the chance to give our lives for the sake of another is how greatly we reflect Christ in all that we say and do.  Piety is the statement of Love of the Lord that flows out of all that we say and do with our lives for Christ.  We cannot touch even the outer limits of what our hearts ask of us when we are filled with love and appreciation of all Christ does for us.


We look at the astonishment of those who grew up with Christ.  His return to his native place brought the invitation to speak.  They were so struck by his wisdom that they asked themselves whence his wisdom came.  They remembered his growing up.  They did not understand the incredible potential prayer brings to anyone.  They did not appreciate Christ in his growth.  They took offense at learning from him.  Jesus was unable to perform mighty deeds there although he did heal a few of the sick.  Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.  Christ comes to all of our needs if we allow him to heal us of our lack of faith.


Recognition of the good others do even when they are different from us in terms of race, color or nationality is important.  Allowing the difference in people to be reflection of the different ways God mixes with man opens our hearts to all the strangers who come out way.  Old friends unseen for a time change.  How we open our hearts to the growth of each other is how we learn to accept changes in ourselves and allow ourselves to be challenged by new opportunities to serve Christ.  The road to Christ brings gradual change in all of us.  We are empowered and we empower others by recognizing changes for the good.  Realizing potentials makes a better world.  Making others free to grow allows us to grow.  We can be content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution and constraints for the sake of Christ because when we are weak, then Christ is strong in us.  We can be Christ to our world by our compliments of one another.  We can be prophets to our world in the name of Christ by the good we acknowledge in others.  We make a better world by kind words that free all of us to be better in the name of Christ.  

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