The Grace That Flows

The Grace That Flows

BY DEENA SELLERS | June 26, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

“But the gracious gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many.”

-Romans 5:15

Early in my teaching career, I taught Sabrina in her sophomore year. An exceptionally bright and savvy young girl, Sabrina could always be counted upon for clear insight into a cultural note in Spanish class or a beautifully accented response in the target language. But after the Christmas holidays, I noticed all of that changed into a sullen, withdrawn, and sometimes cynical attitude and perspective. Sabrina also became the first one to dart out of class at the bell, which brought our brief chats and witty banter to an abrupt halt. I was frustrated and confused, but didn’t want to pry if she didn’t want to talk. Still, I felt I needed to do something.The Grace That FlowsAfter class one day, I asked a couple of her friends to stay behind so I could ask about her and see if they saw the same changes I did. When my Sabrina found out, she was very resentful and hurt, and I felt such shame about gathering information that way and breaking down the trust we had built so easily. She ended up transferring at the end of that year; we never spoke again. But during the next two years, my deep interest and investment in Sabrina was noticed by others at school, and more of my students began to seek my mentorship and guidance. They confided in me that my misstep with their classmate was not a reflection of me or my ability to care for my students, and they understood my reasons: she was unapproachable, and I was determined to find some way to reach her. It was an affirmation of my concern and consolation of my guilt.

In St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, we are affirmed in the concept that we are not defined by our mistakes or missteps, for it is in those errors that we learn, heal, and are then able to give more of ourselves to those who seek our love and care. Jesus Christ sees this and bestows his grace upon us so that we may see this consolation, and be cared for ourselves in His love. And those students who saw me as more than their Spanish teacher received that grace as well, and found comfort in my journeying with them. “The gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflows to the many,” indeed. And if God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, can give us grace to restore and redeem, then why can’t we give that same grace to ourselves? Do we dare block that blessing? How do we find consolation in transgressions and turn them into benedictions?

For Reflection:

  • Where have you found learning and healing in your mistakes?
  • How can you give yourself the grace that Christ offers?
3 replies
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    Giving myself the grace that Christ offers is an important part of my spiritual life. The healing I bring to others when they are in need because of limitiations or because of suffering is grace that I often need for myself so I ask God not only for the graces for the person but also the graces necessary for my own healing.

  2. sonja
    sonja says:

    I am reminded of the words:
    I am with you that I might heal,
    You are with me that you might heal,
    We are together that we might heal,
    We are healing that we might love.


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