August 13, 2021

Each day, I reflect upon a word or a phrase inspired by the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.

“I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.” (Joshua 24:1-13)

GRACE: Grace is an undeserved gift given to us freely by God.

In today’s first reading, the Lord, speaking through Joshua, encourages us to reflect upon all of the gifts He has given us. Too often we identify a God-given gift as something we’ve earned, or somehow something we are due. Where does this sense of entitlement come from?

I once overheard my wife engaged in a ‘gift versus entitlement’ discussion with a very bright young man who was questioning his faith. Carol was trying her best to help him understand that his intelligence, which he was using to convince himself that God did not exist, was actually a God-given gift.

Human nature leads us to take credit for the good things in our lives, and only bring God into the picture when things go wrong.

Today’s reading directs us to take stock of all of the “freebies” given to us by God. Not because we earned them and not because we are special, but simply because He loves us.

Find time today to take such an inventory. Count all the blessings in your life. Then spend a moment in prayer, acknowledging your unworthiness and expressing your gratitude.

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