Ragamuffin Gospel: #6 – Grazie, Signore

Chapter 6

Decide, Trust and Show Heartfelt Gratitude

  1. Decide. Take Action. The gospel of grace calls us to action! This chapter calls us to arms, to action, to get out of the bleachers and onto the playing field. Manning we are indecisive, caught between a rock and a hard place because we cannot will ourselves to accept grace.
  2. Trust. The love of Jesus demands trust. We are accepted just the way we are. “Trust at the mercy of the response it receives is a bogus trust.” In other words, you can’t prescribe Jesus’ response to your prayers or predicaments–you simply have to trust Him!
  3. Show Heartfelt Gratitude. “The third characteristic of our response to the gratuitous intervention of Jesus in our lives is heartfelt gratitude.”

Grazie, Signore, for Your lips twisted in love to accommodate my sinful self;
for judging me not by my shabby good deeds but by Your love that is Your gift to me;
for Your unbearable forgiveness and infinite patience with me;
for other people who have greater gifts than mine;
and for the honesty to acknowledge that I am a ragamuffin.
When the final curtain falls and You summon me home,
may my last whispered word on earth be the wholehearted cry,
“Grazie, Signore.”

 

From the Chapter

  • Story of the palsied kiss…heartwarming and insightful
  • First, the love of Christ and His gospel of grace calls for a personal, free, and unconventional decision.
  • Luke 16:1-8: Parable of the Shrewd Manager. Unbelievers put us to shame. Imitate their shrewdness!
  • When Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened,” He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.
  • When we wallow in guilt, remorse, and shame over real or imagined sins of the past, we are disdaining God’s gift of grace.
  • Preoccupation with self is always a major component of unhealthy guilt and recrimination.
  • Catholic woman’s vision of the Bishop’s confession: I CAN’T REMEMBER. Nice.
  • The Gift of the Magi: Woman sells hair; husband buys special combs for her.
  • Mark 14:3-9: Mary pours expensive perfume on Jesus and He marks the occasion for all to remember. “He wanted the tale of this woman’s recklessness told and retold across the generations until the end of time.
  • Amadeus, film about Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Salieri whispers, “Grazie, Signore” Thank You, Lord. This song of Salieri lies at the heart of our response to the graciousness of God and the gospel of grace.

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