We have to develop a life of gra-ciousness. This means that more than relying on our hu-man powers and the things of nature, we should rely on God’s grace that can do much more than what our human powers and the things of nature can.
We should not be surprised if by relying mainly on God’s grace, things may appear to us as inhuman and unnatural. We just have to be con-vinced that they are not. But yes, they can go be-yond, but not contradict, what our human reason can know and understand and what can be considered by us as natural.
A life of graciousness depends more on God’s words than on our own reasoning. Remember Christ saying clearly: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Mt 4,4)
It’s not that we don’t need bread and everything else that is connoted by that word. Human as we are, we will always need them. But as children of God, we need much more than bread.
We have to remind ourselves often of these words of Christ, especially nowadays when we seem to be producing a lot of things and are distancing ourselves from God and his word. We are starting to feel that we do not need God anymore, or that we need him less and less. We seem to get easily drunk with our own accomplish-ments.
A life of graciousness can be described in the following words of Christ: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resis-tance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” (Mt 5,38-41)
It’s a life of full trust in God’s word that would lead us to be patient, humble, magnanimous, merciful, etc. It’s a life that is full of goodness, where anger, hatred, resentment, envy have no place. It’s a life that is not afraid of suffering nor of death. It’s a life where we always think well of the others and where we are willing to reach out to them, even if we do not get anything in return.
Justice, of course, can and should be pursued in this life. But it is pursued in strict charity and truth. It is a kind of justice that is not perturbed even if injustice is committed.
A life of graciousness acts out all the beatitudes articulated by Christ. It is poor in spirit, meek, pure of heart, firm and cheerful even if persecuted and insulted, hungry and thirsty of righteousness.
As St. Peter in his first letter would put it, he does not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult. Rather he repays evil with a blessing. (cfr 3,9)
It’s a life where God’s grace reigns supreme rather than our own power and reasoning. Fr. Roy Cimagala, Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enter-prise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org