Thanks for joining me, this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Do: May your grace,
Who: O Lord,
Do: we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works.
Through: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
We are expecting grace to do a lot for us this week, so let’s remind ourselves of what grace is. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 1996), we learn that grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives to those who respond to His call to become His children.
How can we know we have God’s grace? The Catechism does tell us that it is for those who respond to His call to become His children, however, grace isn’t something we feel. Grace is something we trust to be there.
Years ago I had a particularly challenging day ahead. My husband’s family members were elderly, my children were young, and on this day I had to balance all of them at the same time, but I was able to go to mass first. After mass that morning, I was visiting with the priest, and he reminded me to ask for God’s grace. I asked him how would I know that God will show up with his grace. His reply was, “step out of the boat.”
In this week’s prayer, we’re asking grace to go before us, follow after us, and make us determined.
While it was nice thinking about having grace in front of me, it soon occurred to me that that the only way to have grace in front of me was to follow it. Then I remembered that we were given grace for that purpose. In fact, we were made for it.
In Ephesians 2:10, we read, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” We are his handiwork created for the works that God HAS PREPARED - in advance. His grace is ahead of us. All we need to do is follow Him and his grace will follow us.
God’s grace following us - what does that look like? The best example I could think of was Jesus.
What was it about Jesus that made crowds of people come out to see him? A simple definition of grace is to be kinder to people than what they deserve and Jesus modeled that well. People followed Jesus because he loved and it was out of that love that he taught, fed, and healed. His good works were grace to those who drew near to him.
As we meditate on grace making us determined to carry out good works let’s go back to Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the GOOD WORKS that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
We don’t often realize or remember that we have a calling on our life. Each of us is made in God’s handiwork, created for God’s purpose. We have work to do - we have God’s work to do and he’s already got a plan. St. Paul tells us that is where we should live, in the good works that God has ready. To accomplish it, we are given grace in abundance when we respond to his call to be his children.
His grace is before us. His grace has prepared works for us to do to bring grace to others. His grace follows. It looks to me like the Collect this week is teaching us how to live a life like Jesus did.
Thanks for praying with me.