SAINTS JOHN DE BRÉBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES, PRIESTS, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS (MEMORIAL)
How much more . . . ?
It sounds pretty grim: Paul tells us that because of our first parents’ fall from grace, sin and death have now entered the world. Not only that, but every person born into this world is infected with sin. As Paul said earlier in this letter, “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
It’s easy to see the results of sin in our world in the cumulative effect of individuals turning away from God. But that’s not the end of the story. Because if that seems like a lot of sin, just think how much more grace God has poured out on each and every human being in Christ Jesus.
How much more? Enough grace to forgive even the most hardened criminal. Enough grace to heal broken relationships that seem beyond repair. Enough grace to woo us and turn our hearts back to God when we’ve turned away. Enough grace to help each one of us with our most stubborn patterns of sin.
How much more? Let’s be more specific. Enough grace to overcome your frustration with your bossy brother. Enough to help you see the pain behind your spouse’s anger. Enough to begin to dissolve the negative way you look at people you’ve labeled as “other.” Enough to enable you to turn your attention away from social media and toward your needy neighbor.
The truth is, no sin is beyond God’s grace to forgive. But even more, there’s no end to the new life of grace that Jesus wants to cultivate in you. It’s a life that looks like his own: generous, humble, considerate, courageous, holy. Of course, we have to cooperate with him, but the sheer amount of grace he has given us in the first place is breathtaking.
As St. Paul says, “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Romans 5:20). That grace has brought us eternal life through Jesus, and it’s available to you today. So the next time you’re feeling painfully aware of the sin in the world, remember how much more God’s grace has been poured out on the world, and each person in it. That includes you!
“Lord, help me to trust in your grace to overcome sin and to give me new life!”
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Romans 5:12, 15, 17-21