May 12, 2016
The Grace of the Sacraments
Last weekend I returned home to St. Louis for the first Holy Communion of my nephew, Patrick, and the Confirmation of my niece, Grace. I was in good company, as so many families are rejoicing over those two great sacraments these spring days. Congratulations!
Almost 50 days ago we celebrated Easter, happily recalling the Resurrection of Jesus, and the share He freely gives us in His new life. We call this share we have in His life grace.
Forget about earning, achieving, or meriting this grace...it’s pure gift! Even the word itself means “a gift freely given.”
God gives us this grace in Baptism.
God nourishes this grace in the Holy Eucharist. As earthly food nourishes our body, heavenly food, Holy Communion, feeds the soul. What a joy to see our children receive our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time.
God strengthens this life in Confirmation. Again, look at the word: through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God confirms the grace He lavished upon us at Baptism.
By the way, God restores His grace in the Sacrament of Penance. I was happy to hear Patrick speak of his “first reconciliation,” and Gracie tell me how her class had prepared for Confirmation with a good confession.
God is in the business of life. His Son, Jesus, told us, “I came to bring life, life to the fullest.”
God gives us human life at the moment of conception; He pours His own divine life (grace) into our hearts at Baptism; He restores it in Penance; nourishes it in Holy Communion; and affirms it in Confirmation.
And He invites us to share it with Him forever in Heaven.
He’s a good God!