Brothers and sisters: You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
How great is our God? God who loves us gave us life. God who is rich in mercy bestows immeasurable riches of grace upon us and transforms us by doing so. God saves us by grace through faith. All God gives is gift. We do nothing to earn these gifts of mercy and grace, and God uses the entire world to labor on our behalf so that we might see the riches bestowed on us and understand the depth by which we are loved by God.
And what is our role? First, we are to open ourselves up to receive these gifts of mercy, grace, and faith. Second, we are to return them to God by doing the “good works” that God is inviting us to do.
Where do I see the immeasurable riches of grace in my life? How is God inviting me to bring these riches into the “good works” I am created for?
—Becky Eldredge is a spiritual director, writer, retreat facilitator and mom of three.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. All that I have and call my own. You have given them all to me. To you, Lord, I return them. Do with them what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me. Amen.
—St. Ignatius Loyola (click here to download prayer card.)