“All is grace.”I can’t remember exactly where that phrase came from, but it certainly sums up the focus of the readings for Sunday.
Was it the Israelites’ good citizenship that inspired Cyrus to permit their return from Babylon to Jerusalem? Or was Cyrus graced by God with a very unique perspective on good leadership? Was it Paul’s choosing that he became the Apostle to the Gentiles? Did Nicodemus suddenly realize one day that he ought to be converted? No it was all grace.
Did you decide on your own to go to Mass this weekend? To get some groceries for the li’l old lady down the street? To let the car in the parking lot pull out in front of you? To snowblow your neighbor’s sidewalk? No. All was grace.
Did you find yourself singing a favorite hymn or spiritual song while you were doing dishes? When you volunteered for the parish festival or fund drive? When you decided to call the doctor after an episode of chest pain, “just to be sure.”? All is grace. All was inspired by God.
I’m a decent writer. Did I get that on my own? No. You’re the type of person whom people can easily talk to when they have problems. You can inspire others to do better than they thought they could. Your smile brightens a room. You’re able to say or do exactly the right things in a stressful situation. All is grace.
To paraphrase St. Paul in the Second Reading: “It is God’s gift from start to finish. We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done it all by ourselves. No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and the saving. He creates each of us in Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he had prepared for us from all eternity.”
You are such a grace-full person! Thank you for being you!!