Surprised by Grace

Readings: Wis 2:1, 12-22; Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
"When the Messiah comes, no one will know where He is from." Jn 7:27

A young man was living a very dangerous lifestyle - you know, the party life including drugs, alcohol, and sex outside of marriage.

Then, one day, he had a dream that he was struck by lightning. He woke up in tears and phoned his mother, saying, "Mama, please come and get me. I want to come home." He wanted forgiveness. He wanted to live right by God.

His mother was surprised by the conversion of her son who had languished in the dark, dead-end corridors of a dangerous lifestyle. She had prayed for him, but she was still surprised by the grace of his conversion.

As God did with this young man, He often surprises us by grace. In today's Gospel, the people of Jesus' home region of Galilee were surprised that He claimed to be the Savior of the world. Let's listen in on their conversation. They might be saying, "How can this man claim to be special? He's the son of Joseph the carpenter. How can He, this man we know, be the Son of the living God?" These people were not open to the surprises of God's grace that visited them in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.

What about us? Do we think that we already know it all when it comes to the spiritual life? Do we have the eyes of faith to recognize God's visitation in our lives? Let's put away our preconceptions about Jesus and how He can act in our lives. Let's humble ourselves before Him - and give Him permission to surprise us this Lenten season. This attitude of heart will lead us to deeper conversion in the ways of the Gospel.

O Lord, grant me clarity of vision and humility, so I will not miss the surprises that You have planned for me this Lent. May I be attentive every day to the wonders of Your love. Amen.

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