Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Am What I Am

Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

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.”  Luke 7:47

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

How do we react to goodness?   We see two models for it in today’s Good News.  One person reacts with resentment – like the older brother in the Prodigal Son parable.  The other reacts with gratitude for being in the presence of the Lord.

Sacred scriptures are filled with opposite reactions to the same gift from the days of Adam and Eve or Cain and Abel to teh differences between the apostles and the Pharisees.  People react to gifts with appreciation or almost a sense of entitlement. 

Heavy doses of faith, humility and obedience are necessary to get past our self-centered ego and accept the grace that allows us to live a life of gratitude for the small things and the big things.

We are what we are – rushed, busy, distracted, frail and failed human beings.  We see Peter’s faults reflected in ours.  Yet at every moment, we have the choice to change.

Do you owe someone a thank you card or note?  In this electronic era, I often turn to e-mail or Facebook to send such messages.  Why not sit down this week and write someone an old-fashioned thank you note.  No need to bath it in fine perfume. 

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