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Grace builds on nature.

Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

August 23, 2020 •

God's grace, His power, His love, His goodness, it builds upon the nature of a thing. God's grace can be active in a tree. God can love a tree, and help that tree grow and blossom and produce good fruit. And I mean a physical tree, like an apple tree. But God's grace is not going to make that apple tree get up and start walking around talking to people. It could. But that would be a miracle. That's not an ordinary way that grace works with nature.

Grace works according to the nature of the thing receiving it. Now there's a problem with human nature. Unlike the nature of a tree, out nature has been tainted by sin.

Here we have God's order of being in which He has designed us to receive His grace in specific ways so that we would become saints. Holy. And yet sin has twisted our nature. It has twisted our intellects, our wills, and even our bodies.

So what happens is, grace - which I am actually and truly receiving in the Sacraments - is trying to work with a broken nature. So much of the spiritual life for you and me is trying to grow in natural virtue to allow the grace of God to work more completely and fully in and through us. That's why we fast, that's why we pray, that's why we do these things in our bodies, in our natures, in order to conform them once again to what is natural, what is good. So that the grace of God could work more clearly through us.

Is 22:19-23; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Rom 11:33-36; Mt 16:13-20

Homily begins at 13:45

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