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How to Share God's Grace

Reading 1.  HOS 11:1-4, 8E-9

Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.

My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.

 

Responsorial Psalm.  80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16

R. (4b) Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken.
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see:
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted,
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.

 

Alleluia.   MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel.  MT 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your wordsC
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”

By Francis Isip

Matthew 10:7-15 “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” 

Back in 2017, I was given the amazing opportunity to go on a mission trip to ​Curaçao​ in the Caribbean. While there, my group had the chance to visit a senior home. During our time there, we interacted with the residents by talking to them, listening to their life stories, flipping through their scrapbooks, and singing worship songs. It was an absolute joy to be amongst such lovely souls. There was one lady in particular though who really had an impact on me.

What struck me most of all her physical characteristics. Her hands curled in a fixated fashion. Her legs amputated to the knees. Her eyes downcast. Her body hunched over in that wheelchair, with her spine no longer able to support her like it used to years before. 

Instantly I was drawn to speak to her, to know her story.

She only spoke Papiamento, the dialect in Curaçao, so I had my local friend translate for me. I learned that she was a very elderly woman who had just celebrated her birthday. She had been in that senior home for a little while. Her family had brought her there since she no longer could be taken care of by them. Her five children seldom visited, and she also suffered from dementia. I asked about her legs, and she said a dog had attacked her in her front yard. The doctors declared they needed to be amputated. 

In the middle of her storytelling, she looked at my friend and said, “Are you my husband?” In that moment, my friend welled up with tears, and said he could no longer translate for he was overcome with emotion. I thanked her for her time and we went on our way. 

As soon as I stepped out of that senior home, I began to cry.

Never before had I met someone so strong-willed.

Her story made me reflect on my own life. 

I have received more than I need from such a loving God, free of charge. At times I even wonder how someone like me could receive that much mercy and grace with each waking moment. But now I understand, thanks to this woman, that I am called to show my gratitude by giving back to the one who has given everything to me. She made me realize this because despite every struggle she went through with her physical ailments and familial ties drifting apart, she continued to see the preciousness of her unique life story.

Each day, she turns her pages towards the kingdom. 

I thought I was doing them the service by coming to their senior home. I never expected to be served with this momentous encounter. The special thing about service is that the Holy Spirit blows where it wills. It never is me giving the graces to others, but rather, God’s grace flows through his vessel that chose to carry it.

This world is in desperate need of more vessels.

There are hearts out there waiting for conversion. Fortunately, throughout my years of service, I have seen transformation in the hearts of others with each deep conversation I spark, with every worship that I lead, and with every prayer I have handed to the Lord. And what’s even more rewarding is this one truth: with my acts of service, I always receive more in return than what I have given. Amen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Frances Isip is the name. Saving one soul at a time is the game. Currently a full-time nursing student, but I always find a way to fuel my passion for exploring the outdoors, playing my music, and leading our youth in our community of Couples for Christ-Youth. May the Lord Bless you always. 

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