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Grace Overflows

First Reading: Romans 5:12, 15B, 17-19, 20B-21

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

If by that one person’s transgression the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one
the many will be made righteous.
Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through justification
for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17

R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Gospel: Luke 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”

NAB

oct 20 (1)

My sin increases daily. When I get to the end of the day and do my quick examination of conscience before I try to sleep (while praying that I get a few hours of sleep before the baby wakes to nurse), I know my own sinfulness. I struggle so much with my impatience with my kids, with my selfish desires to please myself, my desire to eat more food, my comparison of myself to others, my disastifaction with the daily grind, and so on.

After my examination of conscience, I pray an act of contrition. I tell God my sorrow for my sins, and I ask Him for His forgiveness.

Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.

I like to think of grace overflowing, of it washing over me in my sinfulness, cleansing me of my sins. The worse of a sinner I am, the more grace overflows to bring me back. It is utterly humbling to receive this gift.

Where would I be without grace? I often don’t see it as I go through my day, but lately I have been seeing it change me. Grace is overflowing in my life.

Since my fourth baby was born several months ago, I have realized more fully my complete weakness and inability to accomplish anything without grace. I would like to have it all together, but I fail daily. When strangers tell me that I have my hands full, I simply reply, “Yes, yes, I do.” But the grace overflows all the more.

While my sinning never stops, grace is making me better. I am losing myself to grace. When I am having trouble, it is often because I have forgotten to ask for help. But when I take the time to admit my weaknesses and pray to be better, the grace overflows all the more.

What graces do you need today? Do not let your habitual sins overcome you, for God is simply waiting for you to ask for His help. Make an examination of conscience part of your daily routine, and grace will overflow all the more.

photo by Sara Miller

Susanna Spencer once studied theology and philosophy, but now happily cares for her three adorable little girls, new baby boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here.

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