Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’s striking how many of the New Testament letters begin in a similar way. Historians may tell us that it is a stylized greeting format, but there were many such greetings at the time. The Biblical authors chose to begin their letters with potent reminders of a simple truth we all need to hear.
> Saint Paul to the Christians in Corinth: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” He wrote the same to the church in Galatia, in Ephesus, in Philippi, in Colossae, and in Thessalonika: “Grace to you and peace.” To Timothy he wrote, “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
> Saint Peter in his first letter: “May grace and peace be yours in abundance,” adding in his second letter, “through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
> Saint Jude in his letter: “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.”
> GRACE, MERCY, PEACE, LOVE: all of these are signs of God’s presence. Where they are present, God is there. Where they are lacking, God is not. Are they not road signs for us to follow in life? As a plant or flower reaches out toward the sun, do not our souls grow toward grace, mercy, peace, and love? Where we find these things in life, let us rest in God’s presence. Where they are lacking, let us move away to seek them elsewhere. It is a simple but profound rule. Seek the things of God, flee from whatever leads away from them.
> And so the question becomes, “What leads you closer to grace, mercy, peace, and love?” Pursue it rabidly, for there God is leading you. Conversely, know that where you find the opposite it is not God who leads you but the enemy. Linger not there, it is darkness, and we are children of the light.
> Grace, mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.
June 7, 2012
Rev. Msgr. William J. King

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