Thursday, September 20, 2012

His Grace to Me

His Grace to Me

September 20, 2012

Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr and Saint Paul Chŏng Hasang, martyr, and their companions, martyrs

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.  Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.  Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  1 Corinthians 15:10-11

So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.  But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."  He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  The others at table said to themselves,  "Who is this who even forgives sins?"  But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."  Luke 7:47-50


Father, although I do not deserve it, you shower me with your grace and in abundance.  Guide my actions so that I may be worthy of the gifts you provide.  As I accumulate those gifts from you, help me to pass them on to others.  Amen.


"His grace to me has not been ineffective." 
What role does the grace have in our lives?  Yesterday, Colleen reflected upon the importance of the greatest spiritual gift of all -- love.  Love is our action.  Love is our intentional action.  It does not happen by accident.  It does not happen in a vacuum. 
We can only love because we are loved.  Otherwise, how would we know what love is?  We learn what love is from our parents and family.  We learn what love is from all of our teachers.  We learn what love is by our experience.    We  learn what love is from our study.  But learning is not the end of the road until and unless we put love into action. 
Paul's lesson in love and grace from his epistle to the people in Corinth foreshadows the Good News we will hear next Sunday.  "Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice."  (James 3:16)  We must replace this egotistical self-indulgence with the wisdom of love.  Such love is not about who is the greatest.  Such love is about who is the least. 


How has God's grace been effective in your life?  Who has made that grace manifest?  When we are really honest with ourselves, can we admit that we are all St. Paul?  We have all persecuted the church.  Yet we also must recognize that we also have all of St. Paul's potential within ourselves. 
We are worthy of the promises of Christ because Christ has and does love us directly and through the love we get from others.  Our job, should you choose to accept it, is to become the least so that we can put love in action the most.
Then we will know that His grace to each of us is not ineffective.

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