April 12, 2017: Wednesday of Holy Week
Only Strong Through Grace
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” –Matthew 26: 22
St. Francis of Assisi once went into a town, and the entire populace was all excited and making a fuss over God’s troubadour. Wisely, he did not bask in this over the top tribute but rather grew annoyed. He went up to the pulpit and declared to them all, “Do not praise me; I may yet be the father of many children.” His honest appraisal put a damper on the festivities. Francis knew himself.
We are all weak. We can all fall. We often do. We are never “there,” arriving in a place that is free from temptation. Maybe it seems like weakness that the apostles questioned their own loyalty and asked Jesus if it was one of them who would betray him. Wouldn’t it be obvious if you were the one about to betray him? Evidently not, as they all asked that unnerving question. Perhaps it is not so much a sign of their weakness but of an honest recognition of their weakness. Never say never. We can all fail miserably. Rather than look down on others’ failures, realize we are just as capable of doing the same thing. The reason we haven’t is by the grace of God.
Father, help me to recognize that I am a sinner. I don’t want to beat myself up or put myself down, but I want to recognize that I depend on your grace. Help me not to judge or look down on others for their failings and misdeeds. I am capable of doing the same things given the right circumstances. No, Father, I don’t want to judge or condemn. I just want to do my best and rely on your grace. In the end, you alone will be the one who figures it out. Amen.
by Fr. Thomas J. Connery
Taking Lent to Heart