Today’s Gospel expresses to us the willingness of God to bear our burdens and to help us on our journey to union with Him. If we are sensible we should accept this offer of help and get on with the business of our lives within the framework provided for us by our faith and relationship with Jesus. One of the questions that will inevitably arise will be whether or not we are willing to reciprocate this offer of God, not necessarily to Him but to one another. That is, I am sure that Jesus expects us to be willing to help and serve each other in our journeys of life.

It is all very well to receive the grace and gifts that God offers to us, and it is not as if they are given to us conditionally, however, there is a sense in which it is conditional; that is, we must be willing to realize and act upon the fact that the nature of the gift of God’s grace is that His grace is rarely for us alone – more often than not it is given for the up building of the wider Body of Christ, the Church than just for an individual.

Maybe this can be construed as a condition; however, I do not really think that this is so. The nature of love is such that it cannot be true love if it is solely self-focused. The nature of God is that He is a God of love and therefore everything that we do in relation to God whether it be receiving His gifts or serving in His Kingdom has to be done with a mindset that recognizes that what we receive and do has two elements, one for us and one for the wider Body of Christ. This is a very good thing because it will help us to remember not to be become self-absorbed but rather to be constantly on the lookout for ways in which we can share our gifts with and help one another. I think God has proved himself to be pretty smart in arranging the nature of love in this way!

Love and service must be two aspects of our lives that become intertwined in such a way that it is impossible to separate them. This is the greatest protection against selfishness and likewise the greatest source of hope that we will be faithful to loving one another in the way that Christ has first loved us.

How often do I experience receiving God’s grace and gifts in my life as a source of impetus to share more deeply and fully with others all that have received?

Jesus, you gave your life in love of me and the service of your Father’s will. I pray for the grace to receive all that you offer to me and to give all that you ask of me. In this way I hope to be obedient to your every will and desire.