< <  

Thursday, July 18, 2002

  > >
Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalm 102
Matthew 11:28-30

View Readings
Similar Reflections

nothing but grace

"The inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth." —Isaiah 26:18

Isaiah prophesied that God's people were like a pregnant woman "about to give birth" (Is 26:17). Her water broke, her contractions became more frequent, and her labor pains increased, as she writhed and cried out (Is 26:17-18). Finally, she delivered. But there was no baby. She gave "birth to wind" (Is 26:18).

The point of Isaiah's prophecy is: "Salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth" (Is 26:18). In other words: "In no way can a man redeem himself, or pay his own ransom to God" (Ps 49:8). Isaiah also prophesied: "All our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves" (Is 64:5). Jesus bluntly stated: "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).

We are like babies; we are totally dependent on the Lord (see Mt 18:2ff). Paul taught: "I repeat, it is owing to His favor that salvation is yours through faith. This is not your own doing, it is God's gift; neither is it a reward for anything you have accomplished" (Eph 2:8-9). "Everything is grace" (Rm 4:16).

"From His fullness have we all received, grace upon grace" (Jn 1:16, old RSV). Grace to you!

Prayer:  Father, I rejoice to live in grace.

Promise:  "Your souls will find rest, for My yoke is easy and My burden light." —Mt 11:29-30

Praise:  Carl's recovery from brain surgery was so rapid that, even years later, his co-workers can see him as a walking miracle and give glory to God on his account (see Gal 1:24).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001