SATURDAY, TWENTY EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Rom 4: 13, 16-18; Ps 105: 6-9, 42-43; Lk 12: 8-12
THE LAW CONDEMNS, GRACE ENABLES
As we see the promise to Abraham includes not only his personal self worth before God, but it also makes us heirs of the whole world. We sometimes think that entrance into heaven can be obtained by good works. But it is not true. All our works are tainted by sin. The only righteousness that gains entrance to heaven is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. It is all the riches of life – love, joy, peace, and the fulfillment of the heart’s longing – all that enriches our lives and that we do not deserve. Grace is a free gift from God. Faith is also a gift from God, along with His grace and mercy, according to His holy plan and purpose.
Faith is related to grace in the same way that works are related to the law. Grace and law are the principles, faith and works are the means by which we pursue those principles for our relationship with God. We are saved by God’s grace and grace is appropriated by faith. Salvation is by faith and nothing else. We can only receive salvation by the principle of grace through faith. Grace cannot be obtained through works, whether they be past, present or promised because by definition grace is given without regard to anything in the one who receives it. The fulfilment of the promise is not according to man’s merit, but to God’s unmerited favor. And this salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile. Abraham, and Paul have shown, what was saved before the ordinance of circumcision was given and thus before the Mosaic law was instituted. Thus, he became the spiritual father of both Jews and Gentiles in that both are saved exactly like he by pure faith. Just as Abraham declared himself implicitly for God in our first reading. All this calls for a new ‘I’and a new ‘eye’. Like Mother Teresa said, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work”.
Response: The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
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