Extending Grace

07-18-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Is there a person who abandoned, avoided, or deserted you in your time of need?

How did you react? What impact did that have on the relationship? Did you find it in your heart to forgive?

It was only recently—I hate to admit—that I realized something very particular about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As he was arrested, scourged, and killed upon a cross, the vast majority of his disciples scattered. They did not stand with him. Only one showed up at the cross.

To put this in some inadequate context—I felt a little hurt when a good friend didn’t show up for my book release party.

So when Jesus rose from the dead, did he look for his disciples and shot lightning bolts out of his fingertips? Of course not. But did he replace them all with more worthy candidates? No. He didn’t do that either. Did he at least give them a long and lengthy sermon on loyalty and make them beg for forgiveness? There is no record of such behavior.

Jesus went straight back to his disciples and strengthened them. He did not see their failure of character and faith as an attack on himself. Rather, he was concerned for them. They were not made to be weak. The mission given to them was not about hiding. They were not chosen to cower in fear. He roused them and empowered them. He encouraged them.

We all can take a million lessons from Jesus—but the example of him returning to those who betrayed him is one most of us have long overlooked.

We must set aside our pride and forgive. We must extend grace to those who have let us down. The grace of God.