September 2016
Reflections of God's Goodness

It’s a new day! As school begins, and many other programs and activities start, there is a certainnew year feel to this time of year. Many people set goals or make resolutions as they begin this month. The problem is, we often fail to keep them.

As we continue in this Year of Mercy, I want to talk about graceand the role it plays in our ability to be merciful people. We want to be merciful people and we want to be our ‘best’ self. We plan and make resolutions accordingly.

We think we can accomplish God’s work in us through sheer willpower—our power! If that were possible, why would we need grace? Why would we need Jesus?

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Think about the Prodigal Son. He had sinned against his father and his family. When he was starving and living with the pigs, God worked in him through grace to turn his heart toward home, giving him the courage and strength to face his father. His father, filled with forgiveness, welcomed him with open arms. We don’t know the rest of the story, but I would hope that the repentant son gave what he received, extending mercy and forgiveness to others again and again.

Scripture tells another story about a woman who was bleeding for 12 years. She was an outcast and considered unclean. Imagine—12 years of loneliness and rejection. But here was a woman of faith, and when she heard about Jesus healing all kinds of people, because of her faith, she was given the grace to reach out to Jesus. I say grace, because she was forbidden by law to touch anyone, but grace gave her the power…she merely touched Him—and was healed.

Why do we hesitate? God knows we can’t do this (life) on our own. We can’t heal ourselves and we can’t be merciful without the power of God at work in us. So pray for the grace to reach out. As you endeavor to show mercy to others, touch the mystery of Jesus so that His power, not your resolution, empowers your action.

Pope Francis encourages us, day after day, to reach out to others, because

Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in His name.

My hope for all of us is that this ‘new day’ will bring us the grace and mercy we need to “practice acts of mercy in His name.”


Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn's signature

Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
Director of Development

…we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us.

Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn Photo

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