February 1, 2023 – Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020123.cfm)
God gives life, blesses life and renews our life. God never stops that. This is the reason why grace overflows so that no one will be deprived of the grace of God. The Letter to the Hebrew reminds us of this. It calls us to strive for peace with everyone because without peace what we shall have are troubles and bitterness in our hearts. As the grace of God overflows, the Letter also invites all Christian believers to “see to it that no one is deprived of the grace of God.”
This means that our participation has an effect in making God’s grace to truly overflow and be experienced by all. Certainly, one can deprive oneself or others of the grace of God when the heart refuses God’s grace. Yet, why would a person refuse to welcome and accept something that is so wonderful like the grace of God? Is this even possible? Yes, this is very possible that a person will refuse to accept God’s grace because of a heart hardened by jealousy, false judgment, bitterness and hatred.
As the grace of God overflows, the Letter also invites all Christian believers to “see to it that no one is deprived of the grace of God.”Tweet
Let us take for example today’s Gospel story. Jesus who went home was welcomed with bitterness and hatred by his own neighbors. Jesus who did many miracles in other places was questioned and judged by the people. Their thoughts were merely based on the familiar background of Jesus of being a carpenter, being a son of Mary, being a brother to his cousins. Outside of these, they failed to see that there was more in the person of Jesus. They failed to see the grace in the life of Jesus. As a result, the people took offense at him.
They felt offended because they could not accept the opportunity of being graced by the person of Jesus who seemed to be only ordinary for them. This is how a bitter and hateful heart affects our relationship with others. All Jesus could do was to heal few sick people. It was not that Jesus did not want to do any miracle for them because of their bitter attitude towards him. Jesus just couldn’t because the people did not cooperate with the grace of God. They deprived themselves of the grace of God.
Indeed, God can only work when we allow God to work miracles. The lack of faith of the people is a refusal of God’s grace. This tells us that God, though all-powerful, does not impose His power on us. God would rather invite us to allow Him to work miracles with us.
Besides, the people expressed their non-cooperation with the grace of God through their lack of faith. This made Jesus to be amazed. It was just amazing for the Lord because the people have seen how the grace of Jesus’ life could do for them yet they still refused. The lack of faith in them was even reinforced because their hearts were filled with jealousy, false judgment, bitterness and hatred.
And as the Letter to the Hebrews calls us, “see to it that no one is deprived of the grace of God.” This is the call for us today. Let us not deprive ourselves of the grace of God or deprive others. Let God’s grace overflow then, through us and through the gift of persons of one another.
Instead of nurturing bitterness, hatred, jealousy and false judgment in our hearts, let us rather nurture an attitude that welcomes the grace of God through the gift of our persons. Kabay pa.