1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
The grace of God is His way of empowering us to do His will according to our assigned purpose. Each of us receives only what graces we need to overcome the worldly challenges standing in our way; and God will not challenge us with any more difficulty than what we can overcome with Christ by our side.
Now, unfortunately we are sinful human beings suffering from all sorts of sinful wounds. But, not everyone who walked this earth suffered from these wounds and a lack of grace. There were only two individuals we know of with a human nature to be conceived full of grace. Those individuals were Jesus:
John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
And the Blessed Virgin Mary in whose purest of wombs, befitting the Son of God, was Jesus conceived:
Luke 1:28 – “And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” — Some may argue that the Greek word: Kecharitōmenē, does not actually mean “Full of grace”. At first glance, such an argument may make sense; but, but after some familiarization with the Greek language, we come to find that no other in the entire human race has ever been given the feminine present perfect passive voice participle of the Greek word for “grace” as was Mary, mother of Christ Jesus. (Hail Mary: Kecharitomene, A Unique Word for a Unique Lady) Further, if we use the participle for the full translation, the word could actually be translated as: completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace. (The Meaning of Kecharitomene: Full of Grace) — Note: We will be posting additional information on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the weeks to come.
Although, not one of us will be either Christ Jesus or Mary, each of us can still strive to free ourselves from from the slavery of sin so long as we live according to the teachings of Christ. Should we succeed, we too may be full of graces like Paul.
For any of us to be full of grace, we must be without sin because sin damages us and deprives us of our grace and sets us against God and His will. Paul tells us generally how to proceed:
Romans 6:14-15 – “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? By no means!”
Graces are afforded us to complete God’s will. And so long as we live our lives virtuously with humility, patience, charity, chastity, kindness, temperance, and diligence, we too can replace sin with grace:
1 Peter 5:6-11 – “Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you. Be sober and vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you. To him be glory and empire, for ever and ever. Amen.”
We have the opportunity before us to free ourselves from sin by the power of Jesus Christ. How many will, by the grace of God, willfully and lovingly take His hand to forsake the worldly, sinful life in order to lead a Godly life focused on heaven above?
Prayer: Thank you God for the graces You have lovingly bestowed upon me throughout the course of my earthly life. Help me that I may glorify You in all that I do, in all that You made me to be.
Mary, blessed Mother of God, please grant me this request to glorify God the Father and your Son, Jesus Christ with the necessary graces so that I may do God’s will as my own. Amen.