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All Issues > Volume 18, Issue 4


<< Thursday, July 18, 2002 >>
 
Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
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Psalm 102 Matthew 11:28-30
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
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 18, Issue 4
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