The grace of our Lord has been abundant.

 

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

 

How often do you stop and review the sins of your past, especially the sins you have already confessed and put behind you?   This isn’t a matter of rehashing the past or beating yourself up over sins from years ago.   No, we’re talking about looking back at how God has changed your life.

Look at the example of Paul in the first reading:   “I was once a blasphemer . . . and an arrogant man,” he tells his friend Timothy.   “But I have been mercifully treated. . . . The grace of our Lord has been abundant” (1 Timothy 1:13, 14).   Rather than being embarrassed over the man he once was, Paul chose to focus on the power of God’s grace to transform his life.

God’s grace has been abundant in your life as well—even if you sometimes have a hard time seeing it.   Right now, take a moment to look back and identify one or two ways you have grown spiritually over the past few years.   Maybe you feel closer to Jesus in your prayer.   That’s his grace.   Maybe you can see ways he has helped you to overcome anger, laziness, or pride.   That’s his grace.   Or maybe you’ve found it easier to accept someone who once got on your nerves or who hurt you in the past.   That too is God’s grace.   In fact, if you look closely enough, you’ll see that God’s grace has indeed been abundant.   And powerful.   And persistent.   And unconditional.

Today’s reading (1 Timothy 1:14) is an invitation to praise and thanksgiving.   Like Paul, you have been “mercifully treated” to God’s never-ending, overflowing grace (1 Timothy 1:13).   So devote your prayer time today to thanking God for all the ways he has surrounded you and immersed you in his grace.   Your spiritual growth may seem gradual, even painfully slow at times.   But it is happening.   As you spend time thanking him for his grace, your vision of his work in you will become even sharper and clearer.   You’ll see how far you’ve come, and what you see will move you to cooperate with his grace even more fully.

“Jesus, thank you for your abundant grace in my life.   Lord, help me to open myself even more to your grace.   Jesus, I want to become like you!”

Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Luke 6:39-42

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