Reflecting on the Experience of Grace

January 5, 2022
Wednesday after Epiphany
Readings for Today

Saint John Neumann, Bishop—USA Memorial


After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.  Mark 6:45–46

What were the people thinking as Jesus left them?  They had been with Him for a few days without food, Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed them all, they were astounded at the miraculous feeding, and then Jesus left them and went off by Himself to pray.  Imagine their thoughts and the conversation that the people would have had at this experience!

Perhaps some would have tried to come up with some rational explanation as to the multiplication of food, others would have believed in a miracle wholeheartedly, and others would have been uncertain about what to think.  This is the experience we often have when we encounter the power and grace of God in our lives.

We may not see actual physical miracles every day.  In fact, we may never encounter one in this lifetime.  But if we are open, we will experience the power of God alive in our lives on a regular basis.  Most often it will be subtle and hidden, but at times it will be clear and transforming.  The first question is whether or not we have the eyes of faith to see God at work, and the second question is whether or not we let His activity transform us.  

As the crowds dispersed, this second question would have been posed to them interiorly by God.  They just witnessed the power of God, and now that they had this experience, they were each called to let it transform them.  They were called to walk away, savor what happened, believe in it and allow it to sink in.  

Reflect, today, upon the presence of God in your life.  How has God spoken to you, helped you and been there in your time of need.  It’s easy to quickly forget what God does.  The goal is to hold on to all that He has done and allow that activity to continue ministering to our hearts.  Ponder, this day, His workings of the past so that those acts of love by God may continue to bear fruit in your life today.

Lord, I know that You have been alive and active in my life in countless ways.  Help me to hold on to those gifts of grace always.  Help me to let Your presence in my life be a continual source of trust in Your perfect plan.  And when it appears as if You have left, help me to know that You are always near and always working in my life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above:  Man of Sorrows by William Dyce, via Wikimedia Commons

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