“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.”-Titus 2:2-4
It’s a conversion that happens every time we give of ourselves, we are transformed by grace-the grace of God. We are called to that conversion every time we approach the altar at the Eucharist. For some of us the blessed sacrament is the only example of that heavenly grace we knowingly acknowledge and receive from one week to the next. It’s at the center of what we do and who we are as Catholics.
But what can we do beyond Sunday? Giving of ourselves with our time, talent and treasure provides other ways to be transformed by grace: praying the rosary, fasting, doing good works for those in need. Giving of ourselves from our abundance of gifts of all kinds is one of the most powerful ways to be transformed by grace. In returning our gifts to the One from whom all blessings flow, we honor Him and become active participants in His work of shepherding the faithful and in redeeming the entire world! That is a powerful transformation.
The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, love isn’t love ‘til you give it away. Remember that? We are called to love God, love one another, but that is only the beginning of our commission. We are also called to steward our other gifts, given freely from His heavenly abundance. If it all comes through God, we should be delighted to share from our abundance with a grateful heart.
We are called to these conversions daily (Give us this day our daily bread). It is God who saves us and sustains us. It is God who made us able and capable to give of ourselves to His greater glory and the furthering of His kingdom. I invite you today to prayerfully consider how you can honor your baptismal covenant to love one another as he loves us.
“If I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing… If I give away everything I own… but do not have love, I gain nothing… faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13