Thanks be to God. Thanks be to God. Thanks be to God!
There is something about that Deo gratias at the end of Mass, isn’t there?
We are a missionary people, going out into the world, sanctified by the indwelling of our God!
What overwhelming consolation. What overwhelming responsibility. What desire to stay with this. What gratitude for the love of the Incarnation. The Passion and Death. The Resurrection. And that it is not all past tense.
In the collect before the readings at Mass on Sunday, we prayed that we “what we relive in remembrance we may always hold in what we do.”
We are a missionary people who are never without God’s love and mercy. We go out into the chaos of the world with that awesome knowledge, in love and gratitude.
Faith isn’t a matter of a human being’s deciding, but of God giving. It is not first of all a human act that pleases God, but a divine act in us to which we give consent. It is God’s act of sharing his own knowledge with us of who he is and what he does. This act saves us because it is in this act that we surrender ourselves to God and allow his love for us to penetrate our resistant souls. It isn’t primarily about believing unproven propositions. It’s about believing a person, entrusting oneself to that person, and as a consequence believing that person.
There are two appropriate responses to that gift. The first is humility. We think of knowledge as a form of mastery and then (unconsciously) apply that to faith and somehow imagine that faith gives us power even with respect to God. In fact knowledge is as much receptivity as activity, and the faith we have received is a gift not an accomplishment.
The second response should be gratitude. We have received glad tidings concerning our salvation. God has shown us his true face in his Christ. Let us receive him with gratitude.
Gratitude. Deo Gratias.
Let’s pray for one another’s receptivity. So that we might have “an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world.”