Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stewards of God's Grace

By Colleen O’Sullivan

Brothers and sisters:  You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier…  To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.    (Ephesians 3:2-3, 8-10)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Be sure of this:  if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  (Luke 12:39-40)

Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth.  
(Isaiah 12:5)

Lord, just as you made the Apostle Paul a steward of your grace, so you have done for each of us.  Out of your unfathomable love, you have called us into being and breathed your Spirit into us.  As we have sinned and failed you along life’s way, you have picked us up, forgiven us and welcomed us back with open arms.  Through your Son’s death and resurrection, you have given us hope of eternal life with you.  Before all time, you knew your plans for how we each would share your gracious gifts with our brothers and sisters.

Many are the routes we take to awareness of your presence and grace in our lives, for the most part not as dramatic as the way in which Paul was stopped on the road to Damascus.  A grandparent’s stories about Jesus, a teacher’s lessons, a pastor’s preaching, the guidance of a spiritual director, our prayer lives – all open our eyes to your working in us.

Awareness leads to gratitude.  Once we’ve recognized that you are working in our lives, O Lord, our hearts are thankful.  We realize how abundantly blessed we are.  Truly our cups overflow, as the psalmist reminds us.

Lord, we are so richly blessed; there is nothing to do but share what you have given us with our brothers and sisters.  Paul was led to share the Gospel with the Gentiles.  We are called to be generous in accord with the unique gifts and graces you have bestowed upon us.  

If we are living that paradigm of awareness gratitude sharing, the Gospel reading for today should hold no threat or fear for us, as many people say it does.  It’s not so much a story about end times as a story about how to live today.  When we’re truly grateful, I can’t imagine anyone saying to himself or herself, I’ll wait a while to give thanks or to share out of my abundance.  We just naturally want to do it in the present moment.  Spend a few minutes today considering what graces God has entrusted to you.

If you’re in a sharing mood, please consider making a donation to Catholic Relief Services to aid them as they partner with other church organizations to offer assistance to Ebola-stricken areas in West Africa.

No comments: