Daily Reflection
June 3rd, 2002
John Schlegel, S.J.
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of Sts. Charles Lwanga and companions
2 Peter 1:2-7
Psalm 91:1-2, 14-15, 15-16
Mark 12:1-12

“May grace and peace be yours in abundance …” says the first reading.  What a wonderful way to begin the day!  The source of that grace and peace is knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  What a great certainty that knowledge of God is, for those who possess it, as a new day dawns.

But how often do we fail to experience this grace and this peace?  For ours is a world filled with countervailing trends and messages that obscure the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Savior.  Yet in an age of relativism, God remains for many the only true absolute.  In an age of broken homes and social dysfunction, God may be the only place left to turn for unconditional love.  In a time of an uncertain economy, a time of fear, loneliness or confusion, God is the only safe haven.  For as the Psalm says, “In you, my God, I place my trust.”

That is what the men in the Gospel did not do.  They did not place their trust in God.  They trusted their own “lights” and ambitions.  “The estate would soon be ours,” they said.  This would be especially true when the heir of the estate was killed and we would inherit the vines, they thought.  How wrong they were!  For God works in God’s own patterns.  The vineyard’s heir rejected becomes the savior.  The stone rejected becomes the corner stone.  The opportunities missed in finding the Lord are opportunities missed in experiencing the grace and the peace of Jesus.  These are opportunities missed in expanding one’s knowledge of God.  How many of these opportunities to grow in the knowledge of the Lord are missed by all of us?  Missed because we place self before others, we place personal needs before the common good, we fail in self-control and our ambitions run ahead of the reality that is our daily existence.

For this reason, writes Peter in the first reading, “Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, and endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, and mutual 
affection with love.”

As we seek to experience the grace and the peace of God in abundance, we again turn to the words of the Psalm:  “In you, my God, I place my trust.”  Trust well placed yields an abundance of grace and peace!

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