The Word Among Us

May 2013 Issue

Grace upon Grace

Grace upon Grace

Last summer, I made my first-ever visit to a water park with my children and grand-children. The park had a huge wave pool—a massive swimming pool that had waves crashing in it every few minutes.

My seven-year-old granddaughter and I spent a lot of time in that pool. Every time a wave came toward us, I’d tell her, “Let’s pretend that it’s Jesus pouring out his grace on us.” After each wave hit us and passed us by, we’d laugh and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for this wave of grace!”

Over the course of my life, I have prayed with many, many people. Sometimes we pray for a person’s inner healing of a painful memory. Other times we pray for a physical healing. And other times we pray for a deeper experience of God’s love. Whenever I pray with someone like this, I use the image of a wave of water. I ask the person I am praying with to picture Jesus sending wave after wave of healing, hope, or love. Such a comforting image has helped countless people open themselves to the Lord and receive his grace.

The Grace of Salvation. In his Gospel, St. John tells us, “From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace” (John 1:16). And in a letter to the believers in Corinth, St. Paul wrote, “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Both of these passages tell us that Jesus, who is full of grace and goodness, wants to pour all that he has and all that he is upon us—day after day, week after week, year after year. He wants to keep flooding us with waves of grace that will open our eyes and our hearts to his power to change us into his image.

There is a past, present, and future sense to this outpouring of God’s grace. For the past, this grace was first unleashed when Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins two thousand years ago. For the present, that grace—the grace that saves—is still flowing today. It is constantly washing over us, seeking to save us from our old ways of thinking and acting so that we can become more like Jesus. As for the future, the endless waves of grace that we receive each day point us to heaven. They help us see that this world is not our home and that one day we will be with the Lord in paradise.

I hope you enjoy reading this month’s articles on the past, present, and future dimensions of our salvation. Jesus has already done so much for us; he is still at work today; and he won’t stop working until the day when he comes back to take us with him to heaven. As you read these articles, picture that grace—just like the wave pool at a water park or the waves of the seashore—flowing over you, lifting you up and washing you clean!

Joe Difato | Publisher | Email the Publisher at [email protected]