Daily Word of Grace # 109 (August 14, 2020)

In his classic short story collection Dubliners James Joyce includes a series of stories that begin with childhood and adolescence, proceed through young adulthood and middle age, and end with old age and death.  In the penultimate short story entitled “Grace” he recounts a sermon preached by Father Purdon.  This sermon is more of a motivational speech for the congregation of mostly businessmen rather than a sermon about God’s grace for sinners, but Father Purdon still touches on the actual gospel: “Jesus Christ was not a hard taskmaster.  He understood our little failings, understood the weakness of our poor fallen nature, understood the temptations of this life.  We might have had, we all had from time to time, our temptations: we might have, we all had, our failings.”  That is absolutely true, as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin”—which means as the writer continues—“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).  This mercy and grace of God remain available to us in every stage of our life, and yes, at our death too.  The final word is a word of grace from the One who indeed understands us.

Love and Prayers,