Sometimes when I seek to share the Lord’s message with others, I work too hard trying to find just the right words, just the right way, just the right time. I browse through countless books, webpages, attempting to find the words that will convey His message perfectly. I want to convince the person with my erudite lesson. If I can just put together the perfect argument, this will convince him. I want my words to do the work. I wait until I think the timing is right. I’m always ready to convince myself that my friend is not in the right frame of mind to hear Christ’s message. If I wait until he’s in a better mood, my words will have more impact.
I have lost sight of the fact that it is His grace that touches the heart. It is all in His time.
Certainly, He uses me as an instrument, but I allow my puffed up pride to attempt to commandeer the situation. (Although we all know how futile that is.)
It is not bad to prepare oneself, but we must remember, sisters, that it is Christ who transforms hearts.
“I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
By instructing His disciples in today’s Gospel to leave the extraneous at home, Christ is reminding them that HE is the way, the truth, the life. He is the ONE who gives the power to change hearts. Don your tunic and sandals, and pick up your staff (because those are important for a long journey) but leave those other things at home, He tells them.
‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me . . . for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Because, truly, Christ is not revealed in the perfect words, the perfect argument, our idea of perfect timing. He is revealed in our weakness. He is revealed when we leave aside the accoutrements and allow Him to work through us.
How am I proving more as an obstacle than an instrument in conveying Christ’s grace to others? Where am I trying too hard, relying on my own strength, and not enough on Him? What “extraneous things” can I leave behind to be a better instrument of His grace?
St. Ignatius' Prayer for Generosity
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.