Daily Thought For January 22, 2019

Finding Favor With God

The main reason why Mary need not be afraid is that she has found favour with God.  The word “grace” speaks of love freely given, not owed.  How much we are encouraged to know that we do not have to earn the closeness and help of God, by presenting a “Curriculum Vitae of excellence”, full of merits and successes!  The angel says to Mary that she has already found favour with God, not that she will obtain it in the future.  And the same formulation of the angel’s words helps us understand that divine grace is continuous, not something passing or fleeting; for this reason, it will never fail.  Even in the future, the grace of God will always be there to sustain us, especially in moments of trial and darkness.

The continuous presence of divine grace encourages us to embrace our vocation with confidence; our vocation demands a commitment of faithfulness that needs to be renewed each day.  Our vocational path is not without its crosses: not only our initial doubts, but also the frequent temptations that crop up along the way.  The feeling of inadequacy accompanies Christ’s disciple to the end.  Yet he or she knows the help of God’s grace.

The Angel’s words descend upon our human fears, dissolving them with the power of the Good News of which we are heralds: our life is not pure chance or a mere struggle for survival, rather each of us is a cherished story loved by God.  That we have “found grace in his eyes” means that the Creator sees a unique beauty in our being and that he has a magnificent plan for our lives.  The awareness of this certainty, of course, does not resolve all our problems nor does it take away life’s uncertainties.  But it does have the power to transform our life deeply.  The unknown that tomorrow holds for us is not a dark threat we need to overcome, but a favourable time given to us for living out the uniqueness of our personal vocation, and for sharing it with our brothers and sisters in the Church and in the world. 

excerpt from Message For World Youth Day 2019 — Pope Francis

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