The Grace of God….
The final verse in the book of Hebrews offers the reader (and us) the grace of God:
Grace be with all of you. -Hebrews 13:25, NAB
Grace is a word that we throw around often, but do we ever stop to think about it’s meaning? What exactly is God’s grace? The Catechism tells us:
“Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us…” -CCC, 1996
Grace is the undeserved help that God offers each of us. We are sinners unworthy of God’s help, yet He freely offers it to us anyway. There is nothing that we can do to earn the grace of God; it is a gift.
For example, when we say grace before our meals, we are thanking God for the food He blesses us with. He provides us with a meal, and we are honoring the fact that every morsel is a gift from the Lord.
Do we take the time to appreciate God’s gift of grace? Or do we act like spoiled children who receive too many gifts and start to forget their value? Unfortunately, many of us fall into this trap and start to take the grace of God too casually. We begin to take grace for granted and lose sight of its impact on our lives.
At other times, we begin to expect grace. We feel that we deserve it because of the life we live as a Christian. We believe that, somehow, God owes it to us. But this contradicts the very definition of grace being the “free and undeserved help that God gives us.” The best we can do, then, is hope that God will give it to us.
Although we should not expect grace the grace of God, we can ask for it. We can turn to God in prayer, asking for His free and undeserved help. In times of trouble, we can turn to Him in desperate need of His grace. In times of joy, we can turn to Him in gratitude for His grace. Seeking God’s grace should never leave our prayers.
Grace: the “free and undeserved help” that God offers each of us. Appreciate it. Hope for it. Pray for it. Accept it as one of God’s greatest gifts.