The Word Among Us

Personal Spirituality Resources

Grace for the Asking

A Message of Hope

By: Patricia Mitchell, Content Editor, The Word Among Us

Grace for the Asking: <em>A Message of Hope</em> by Patricia Mitchell, Content Editor, The Word Among Us

My pantry is full. Very full. So full that I’m kind of embarrassed, given that only three people are eating here these days—my husband, me, and my 91-year-old mom, who doesn’t have a big appetite.

When news of the coronavirus hit, I tried hard not to hoard or panic. But then I kept asking myself, what if we run out and I can’t get to the store? Or what if supplies start running low? So here we are, with enough food to last for a month or more.

Which makes me think: it’s a good thing I can’t stock up on grace. If that were the case, I would want a pantry full, ready and waiting for me whenever I needed it. But grace is like manna in the desert: I need a fresh supply every day. And that forces me to come to the Lord each morning and ask him for another “serving”—which is exactly what he wants. He wants me to rely on him, not on myself. He also wants me to trust that he will supply every grace I need to be his disciple and follow him.

After Jesus had died on the cross, a soldier pierced his side and out came blood and water. To the Fathers of the Church, that water symbolized Baptism. I often imagine God’s grace as a never-ending stream of water from Jesus’ side. We were immersed into this divine life, this water of grace, at our baptism. But it’s not something that happens only once. Every day, as we come before the Lord in prayer, we have the opportunity to once again stand under the cross and be filled with his grace.

I especially need that grace now. It’s been more than a month since we’ve been under lockdown. At first, I thought of all the silver linings to a few weeks at home: my life would slow down, I wouldn’t be running from here to there, and I’d have time to do things I’ve been putting off for years. But as a coworker said recently, the novelty is wearing off. I miss my children and grandchildren. I miss my friends and coworkers. I especially miss the Eucharist.

But having to go without receiving Jesus in the Eucharist has made me realize how much I do have. Through my baptism, I am a partaker of God’s divine life (2 Peter 1:4). Christ lives in me! Not only that, but every day, because of my baptism, I can go to the fount of God’s grace, hands ready and open to receiving all that he has for me that day.

Easter is the time of year when we renew our baptismal vows. What better season of the year to reflect on the gift of Baptism and all that it means for us? The articles in our Easter issue this year explore this foundational sacrament. We hope and pray they can help you appreciate the immense gift we’ve all been given—a gift that keeps on giving every day of our lives.