Saint John Paul II, Pope (Optional Memorial)

 

How much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift . . . overflow for the many. 

 

You don’t have to watch the nightly news to know this: at the core of our being exists a contradiction between good and evil.   The injustice, violence, lies, and lust that dominate the headlines lurk also in each of us.   Maybe not by our actions, but often enough in our thoughts, we are living proof that “through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19).   And yet at the same time, we know that “where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (5:20).

That’s what is so good about the good news in Christ:   you are not a pawn caught between two equal forces.   Sin entered the world not at creation but through Adam.   It came, not because it overpowered him, but because he freely opened the door to it and, consequently, to evil.   Evil is not, and has never been, coequal with good.   It is not a match for good.   It is not an equally powerful force.   As Pope Benedict XVI once said, “Evil comes from a freedom created, from a freedom abused” (General Audience, December 3, 2008).

Good comes from God.   He is himself all good.   That means that his grace abounds for us.   It overflows to us every day.   It reigns for us through Jesus Christ!   That’s not theory;   it’s fact.   Evil is subordinate to grace.   Evil can be overcome by grace.   You can be healed of sin because God has introduced healing through his grace.   According to Benedict XVI, God came in the person of Jesus Christ in order to offer “a new source of good” for all.

You can choose goodness today.   Choose to acknowledge (aloud is always good) that God is all-good, all-powerful, and on your side.   Choose to reject anything opposed to good that rises within you during the day, and ask for the grace to be healed of it.   Remind yourself that God’s grace is so much more—so much more abundant, so much more powerful, so much more effective—than the sin you see.   And then choose to immerse yourself in the grace that God pours out, which he does, always and without fail.

“Father, you are all good, and your goodness is greater than my sin.   Thank you for your grace in my life today.”

Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Luke 12:35-38

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