Fourth Sunday of Lent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” The word “gift” is actually a gift in itself.  We are familiar with gifts.  We can easily relate to the concept of gift giving and even enjoy spending an unlimited amount of time searching for the perfect gift for that special person to recall a happy occasion.  We spend a lot of precious time looking for the right gift, something that is unique, still on-sale but would invoke that perfect response:  Wow! This is amazing! Best gift ever!  We enjoy giving that perfect special gift to that special certain someone but we also enjoy receiving a great gift to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or that major accomplishment.  A gift is a great joy both when it is given and when received.  We can look at the word “gift” from so many vantage points and so many different perspectives.  A gift can be something physical, like a new car, a new watch, or the latest Bluetooth electronic gadget or gizmo.  It can be something even more amazing like that well thought out, well-planned, well-rehearsed, well-executed wedding proposal.  It can be an engagement ring or the announcement of welcoming a newborn child.  Still, even more amazing, is the gift of God who brings the child into this world.  The gift of God is the gift of grace, the gift of life, the gift of his loving tender covenantal friendship.  The greatest gift of God is his beloved Son, the gift of his beloved Mother and the gift of his Holy Spirit.  God is gift and all God shares and relates to us is a precious gift and a great cause for our joy and joyous celebration.  The one special and unique gift that helps us all share in God’s amazing gift of his infinite love and divine mercy is the gift and the grace of faith: the power, the choice, the ability to believe in God and see him with the eyes of insight and wisdom.  It is the gift of grace.  We encounter it when we walk by faith not by sight, along the everlasting way that God has graciously paved out for us in his great kindness and immense generosity.  Growing In Faith Together (GIFT) is the true gift from God given to us in holy Baptism by the gift and out pouring of the Holy Spirit.  In faith through God’s grace, we can know, love, and serve God who saved us.  

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