The "Time of Grace"… Expiring? (Part II)

Photo by Geoff Delderfield


There is a small window of sunshine here in Western Canada where our little farm is situated. And a busy farm it is! We have recently added chickens to our milk cow and seeds to our garden, as my wife and I and our eight children are doing everything we can to become more self-sufficient in this costly world. It is supposed to rain all weekend, and so I am trying to get some fencing done in the pasture while we can. As such, I have not had time to write anything new or produce a new webcast this week. However, the Lord continues to speak in my heart of His great mercy. Below is a meditation I wrote around the same time as A Miracle of Mercy, published earlier this week. For those of you who are in that place of hurting and shame because of your sinfulness, I recommend the writing below as well as one of my favorites, One Word, which can be found in Related Reading at the end of this meditation. As I’ve said before, rather than giving me something new to write, the Lord often urges me to republish something written in the past. I am amazed at how many letters I receive at those times… as if the writing was prepared in the past moreso for that moment.  

The following was first published November 21st, 2006.


I DID not read the Mass readings for Monday until after writing Part I of this series.  Both the First Reading and the Gospel are virtually a mirror of what I wrote in Part I…



The first reading says this:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon… blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near. (Revelations 1:1, 3)

The reading goes on to speak about the good things accomplished by the Church: its good works, its perseverance, its orthodoxy, defence of truth, and its endurance in persecution. But Jesus warns that the most important thing has been lost: love.

…you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen.  (Revelations 2:5)

I believe it is no coincidence that Pope Benedict’s first encyclical was Deus Caritas Est: "God is Love". And love, particularly the love of Christ, has been the theme of his pontificate ever since. When I met the Pope three weeks ago, I saw and felt this love in his eyes.

The reading goes on:

Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Ibid.)



It is because of his love for us that Pope Benedict also warns us, that to reject love, who is God, is to reject his protection over us.

The threat of judgment also concerns us, the Church in Europe, Europe and the West in general… the Lord is also crying out to our ears… “If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." Light can also be taken away from us and we do well to let this warning ring out with its full seriousness in our hearts, while crying to the Lord: “Help us to repent!”Pope Benedict XVI, Opening Homily, Synod of Bishops, October 2nd, 2005, Rome.

It is not a threat. It is an opportunity.



The Gospel tells us that as Jesus approaches Jericho, a blind man sitting on the road begging asks what is happening.

They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." (Luke 18:35-43)

The beggar suddenly realizes that he has merely seconds to get the attention of Jesus before it is too late. And so he shouts:

Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!

Listen! Jesus is passing by you. If you are blinded by sin, in the darkness of pain, suffocating in regret, and seemingly abandoned by all on the roadside of life… Jesus is passing by! Cry out with all your heart:

Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!

And Jesus, who would leave the ninety-nine sheep to look for one lost lamb, will stop and come to you. No matter who you are, no matter how blind, how hard-hearted, how evil you are, He will come to you. And He will ask you the same question He asked the blind beggar:

What do you want me to do for you?

No, Jesus does not ask what sins you’ve committed, what evils you have done, why you haven’t been to Church, or why you would dare call His name. Instead, He looks intently at you with a love that even silences the devil and says,

What do you want me to do for you?

This is not the time to explain yourself. It is not the time to defend and justify your actions. It is the time to simply answer. And if you are at loss for words, then borrow the words of the beggar:

Lord, please let me see.

Oh yes, Jesus. Let me see your face. Let me see your love and mercy. Let me behold the Light of the world that all darkness within me may disperse in an instant!

Jesus does not evaluate the beggar’s answer. He does not weigh whether it is too much to ask, or too bold a request, or whether the beggar is deserving or not. No, the beggar responded to this time of grace. And so Jesus responds to him,

Have sight; your faith has saved you.

Oh my friend, we are all beggars, and Christ is passing near each one of us. It is clear that our state of spiritual poverty does not repel, but attracts the compassion of the King. Had the beggar argued that his blindness was not his fault and that begging was not his choice, Jesus would have left him there in the dust of his pride—-for pride, conscious and subconscious, blocks out the grace that God desires to give us. Or had the beggar fell silent saying "I am not worthy to speak to this Man," he would have remained blind and silent for all eternity. For when the King offers a gift t
o His servant, the correct response is to receive the gift in humility and to return the gesture with love.

He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God.

Jesus will open your eyes if you invite Him to, and the scales of spiritual blindness and deception will fall as they did from the eyes of St. Paul. But then, you must get up! Get up from the old way of life and leave behind your tin cup of vices and filthy bed of sin, and follow Him.

Yes, follow Him, and you will find again that love that you had lost.  

…there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)