09 May 2008

Unfailing Grace

In today's Gospel, the Lord tells Peter that when he grows older, he will "stretch out his hands" for someone to lead him places he would rather not go. For each of us who strive to be followers of Jesus Christ, we do not have to consider the challenge of being led "where you do not want to go" as something which awaits us in our golden years.

For Peter it was a foreshadowing of the death he was to suffer when he stretched his arms upon his own cross. For us, it can be the daily moments of foregoing our own preferences for the sake of someone else. It can be the challenge of overlooking the irritating qualities of someone with whom we work or study. For many, the feeling of being led somewhere they might not choose to go can be the experience of growing in the grace of forgiveness: being moved to pray for the well being of those who have harmed us.

Let it not escape our notice that the Lord punctuates this discourse with the ever-familiar invitation: "follow me." When we are faced with moments that take us places where we do not want to go, let us ask for the grace to remember that each of these experiences will take us one step closer to the Lord whom we follow.

"Grace never fails us, never leaves us, unless we leave it. Our good God waits for us patiently in our delays; he unceasingly calls us even though we don't answer him; he knocks at the very door of the heart that is shut to him."
St. Jane de Chantal

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