In the Second Reading, St Paul writes because of God’s mercy and great love for us, He “brought us to life with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” The word “grace” comes from the Greek word charis, which means “favor, blessing, or kindness.” We can extend grace to others; but when the word grace is used in connection with God, it takes on a more powerful meaning. Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves. Grace is His gift to us of kindness, compassion, generosity, and goodwill. Because grace is a gift, we can choose to accept or reject it. But, only by accepting God’s grace, then showing His mercy and great love to others, can we turn something evil into something good.
In the wake of the tragedy at a high school in Florida three weeks ago, Sam Houser posted on Facebook: “Recently, I have been seeing a lot of conflict following the tragedy in Florida. I’ve seen a lot of arguing, name-calling, and blaming going around, like the Left blaming the Right or the Right blaming the Left. However, I think that we can agree that what happened was a lack of love and respect for fellow people. I know that there’s still going to be conflict, especially those who you don’t particularly care for. Going forward, I have no idea what’s going to happen regarding any legislation. However, I do have an idea that if we treat others with love and respect, we may be able to help the world become better. Just remember that no act of love is too small or insignificant; rather, every act of love is important.”
I have known Sam for almost 4 years. He is an alumnus of Sacred Heart School and currently studying mathematics at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Sam is a humble, kind, gentleman who will do anything for anyone, whether they agree with him or not. His words remind us of what it means to be “brought to life with Christ”. Jesus did not take sides on politics. He didn’t place blame or exclude anyone from His social circle. He didn’t bully those who disagreed with Him. Jesus always treated others with respect and showed the same love for his friend Lazarus as he did to the soldiers who nailed him to the cross. Through His example, Jesus invites us to accept God’s grace to save us from the anger and bitterness that exists in our society today. For it is only through our kindness, compassion, generosity, and goodwill are we able to do those acts of love that are so important to bringing harmony into the world even though we have no idea what will happen next.