15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: July 15, 2018
When we speak of the grace of God, what are we speaking about? What is Grace? It is a gift. A completely free gift. We do not earn it, we do not deserve it, it is completely unexpected an undeserved.
In fact, we could say that all is grace in this universe. We are surrounded and live in grace because our very life itself is pure gift, unearned, undeserved, unexpected, a mystery and miracle. We simply respond to the free gift of our life with gratitude.
St. Paul in the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of God’s glorious grace freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Christ, God has made known to us the mystery of God’s will, the plan of God has been made known to us. What is this plan, this grace that is revealed in Jesus?
We are adopted by God, have become beloved children of God, our sins are forgiven, we have a share in an inheritance that includes sharing in the ultimate plan of God for the universe when all are gathered and connected in the mystery of love. This is grace, a pure undeserved gift, completely unexpected for us human beings.
Grace is by definition unfair. But, we are not always a people of grace. So, we look around saying, he deserves this, he does not deserve this. Or she earned it, she did not earn it. We can begin to think, if we follow these rules, if we do things in this right way, then we will be accepted by God. We start creating insiders and outsiders. But, Grace is about getting what you do not deserve. Before God we deserve anger, but we get love. We deserve punishment, but we get forgiveness.
The response to Grace is simply to receive this gift, be full of gratitude for it, care for and appreciate this great gift. We do that by living as fully as possible as a child of God.
We see Jesus send out the Apostles. Why are the Apostles sent out? To share this gift, this grace with all people. To help all people to open up this gift, to see the great undeserved gift that awaits them if they will simply open it up in faith. All of us are sent out into the world to share this grace with the people in our world. Share the gift of grace with them, that they know that they are invited to be a child of God, to be freely embraced in the very life of God.
Grace is that completely unexpected, undeserved, unearned gift of God. Open that gift and appreciate it in faith. You are invited to share in the very life of God as a beloved child. Then share that gift with others. Let them know that they are already invited to share in God’s life for eternity. They do not need to earn it or deserve it. Simply open it up and receive it in joyful, grateful faith. You are adopted, beloved children of God.