“From his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) Just before this verse John tells us what John the Baptist said of Jesus, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.” (verse 15)
He existed before me. Indeed Jesus’ existence has no beginning and no end. He is God with us. As the Nicene Creed testifies, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from True God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, through him all things visible and invisible were made.” This is “fullness.” It is from this fullness, then, that all graces flow. We are his created children. We have been made in his image and likeness, that is, in the image of the fullness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are capable of receiving grace upon grace from his fulness, if we believe.
Grace is the sharing of God’s divine life with us. Graces come only from the fullness of God. God generously gives us these graces from the moment of our conception. Indeed, life itself, is the first grace given to us. The greatest grace he gives us in life is the grace of our faith. It is through this faith that we come to know him, to love him, and to serve him. It is though our desire and commitment to live our faith publicly in our daily lives that his graces overflow in and through us to those whom we love, to those who are rejected, and even to those who persecute us. With faith in Jesus, all graces from his fullness are made available to us in our daily lives.
This faith allows us to see the graces abounding all around us each day, in the beauties of nature, and in all of the good things that happen to us in our days. We evidence of those graces is realized in our desire to love others and in the love that others have for us. We can also experience God’s grace in times of difficulty and trouble. God’s graces come to us then in the forms of virtues like enduring patience, courage, and in the overwhelming desire to forgive those who have done us harm. His grace comes to us more and more as we grow in the fear of the Lord that is called wisdom. God is good, and all that is good around us and for us, and to us, is pure grace from his fullness. Yes, grace upon grace is his ready gift to us if we believe and live in accord with our faith in Jesus Christ.
Lord, give us the growing ability in faith to recognize the loving graces you give to us in our daily lives. Soften our hearts and open them up to receive the overflowing grace of your love, so that we may share that grace with all of those you have placed in our lives. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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