The Scripture readings for yesterday wonderfully communicate God’s abundant grace to us. They also teach us an important lesson about who we are and who God is–a lesson in pride and humility, doubt and trust.
I can so empathize with the prophet Isaiah:
“Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
And with St. Paul:
For I am the least of the apostles,
not fit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God.
And with St. Peter:
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
Even after nearly five years of being back in the Church, I occasionally look at my life and say, “Oh Lord, after all I’ve done, I am not worthy to be part of Your Church!” But then God says, “You are part of My Church for one reason only: because I created you to be.” Or in other words, “It’s not all about you and what you’re worthy of. It’s much more about Me and what My will for you is.”
Sometimes our egos are our worst enemies. What folly to suppose that we could ever be worthy of what God gives us! And what folly to second-guess His freely-given love and blessings! What a cleverly-disguised pride! A pride that preys upon our trust in God and in His providence.
Fortunately, Isaiah, Paul, and Peter also provide examples of true purity and trust that we can follow. Reassured by God, Isaiah and Peter put themselves at His service. And Paul says so beautifully:
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
When I look at my life with genuine humility, I too can see that God’s grace has been abundant and extremely effective. It has never failed me. I may fail myself in not being open and receptive to it. But He does not fail me. On Him we can depend completely.