Sunday, August 11, 2013

Get Ready for a Beating

What are my feelings about this Sunday's gospel (Lk 12:32-48)?

Much has been given to me, and much is expected.  I consistently underperform, for which Jesus seems to promise a severe beating.  There's nothing like the promise of a flogging to improve morale!  No matter how I try, my concupiscent nature keeps overpowering my weak will.

Some people might say that my problem is that I shouldn't try so hard, that I'm bordering on Pelagian heresy.  It's not up to me, it's up to the grace of God almighty, who became incarnate and suffered on the cross for my sins.  All I need to do is accept the redemption worked by Him on my behalf.  Except that's not what Jesus says in today's gospel.

Others would say that, through the grace of God, I can resist the lure of sin's temptation, and so be ready when the master returns.  That seems a Catch 22.  If all the bad that I do is on me, and all the good that I do is not me, but the grace of God, then doesn't it follow that the only reason I don't do more good is that God is not pouring out more grace upon me?  If grace is necessary for conversion, then doesn't lack of conversion indicate lack of grace?  Whose fault is that?

I know, I know.  Everybody is bathing in grace, it's just that some people accept it, and some don't.  But wouldn't accepting the grace be a good work, dependent upon god's grace?  Catch 22!

What I know for sure is that I'm missing something.  I'm missing something in my understanding of the parable.  I'm missing something in my understanding of how God's grace affects our decisions.  I'm missing something in strengthening my will to resist sin.

I'm missing quite a lot, it seems.