Friday, September 30, 2011

“Grace does not destroy nature, it perfects it.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas

“The law detects, grace alone conquers sin.” - Saint Augustine of Hippo

Gospel text (Lk 10,13-16):
Jesus said to them,
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, "Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld."
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

Our responsibility for our sins and our responsibility to repent are related to the graces the Lord has given us, for example, the miracles He has done in our midst. "When much has been given a man, much will be required of him. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted" (Lk 12:48).

Most of us reading this have been given the very greatest graces. Almost all of us are baptized. We have become new creations (Gal 6:15; 2 Cor 5:17). We are royal, priestly, and holy (1 Pt 2:9). God even lives in us, and we in Him (Jn 17:23; 6:56). Most of us are awesomely privileged to receive the body and blood of God as Catholics. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that we have a very great responsibility to respond to God's graces and to repent.

Nevertheless, as we are about to accept God's call to repentance, we are tempted to compare ourselves with others. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum could have compared themselves with Nazareth. They seemed to have greater faith than did Nazareth, because Jesus did more miracles in them (Mk 6:5-6). Satan can so confuse us that we use our blessings as an excuse not to repent rather than an indication of a greater responsibility to repent.

Don't compare yourself with others, but compare your life to the graces God has given you. Then repent.

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