“God is gracious” is the meaning of the name John. This feast of the birth of John the Baptist is a good time to reflect on God’s graciousness.
The definition of grace found in What the Church Believes and Teaches handbook for Good News is “A gift from God that makes us holy and helps us to respond to his call to live as his children. The gift, a share in God’s own life, is received in Baptism.”
Two things stand out to me in that definition. Grace is a gift and a share in God’s own life. Wow! Or maybe I should say Amazing! God shares his own life with us as a gift. We can do nothing to deserve or merit it. We must simply receive it with gratitude and respond to God’s call to live as his children.
Reflecting on God’s grace can lead us to appreciate the people and experiences of our lives as encounters with God’s grace. We may begin to see that all is gift and be inspired to pray:
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.”
–Saint Ignatius of Loyola
With recognition of the many signs of grace in our lives, we become more generous and grow in our desire to care for those in need. Please consider supporting the efforts of Catholic Relief Services as they respond to the needs of those affected by the volcano in Guatemala.
Image credit: © Bayard, Inc. – Illustration: Jim Burrows