Daily Thought For May 16, 2019
A Miracle of Grace
“… whoever receives the one I send receives me …”
I wonder how easy it was to receive the apostles or disciples, grimy with road dust, hot, tired, and hungry, bearing a message that sounded unbelievable. Was it easy to welcome them? Was it easy to accept their message? I find it amazing that people did come to believe—and in such numbers. In those first years following the resurrection, Christianity spread swiftly throughout the Roman Empire. Only one explanation seems possible: it was a miracle of grace.
If we reflect, we see that our own lives are also marked by grace. We may have received the faith as children from parents and teachers. We may have received it as adults—through books, friends, a counselor or spouse—perhaps after much seeking and soul searching. In any case, how could the faith have come to us except by means of grace?
So, what does the Scripture citation mean for me? I have faith already: who will Jesus send me today? Do I still need an apostle or disciple to show me the way?
Well, I really may. I might want to give this some thought. It’s also possible, however, that Jesus will send someone for me to help—a needy person like those he searched out during his earthly life and ministry. He may want to continue that ministry through me today.
He may want me to greet a lonely neighbor at my door, an annoying relative on the phone, a physically or mentally challenged stranger in the supermarket, a co-worker in the lunch room whose lifestyle I don’t agree with, an acquaintance on the bus whose accent I can hardly understand. He may want me to engage this person in conversation in order to communicate his mercy and unconditional love through me. He probably also wants to communicate to me through this other, even though the other might not measure up to my concept of a devout and knowledgeable Christian—or might not be a believer at all!
So, am I ready?
Lord Jesus, our Teacher and Shepherd, you once said that whatever we do to the least ones we do to you (see Mt 25:40). Help me to remember this when I encounter someone in need. Help me not to be so wrapped up in my own needs, wants, and plans that I can’t greet, listen, converse, aid, and learn. Moment by moment, give me the light to see what I am called to say and do. Give me the courage to follow your inspirations. Help me to forget myself more often and focus on you and others instead. Amen.
Whom might Jesus send me today?
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 64–65). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.