Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
Scripture gives us a few different visions for what a blessing is and how to feel about it. What is common among all of them is that blessing is God’s grace. How we receive that grace and when is where those visions start to diverge.
Does God bless you for being a good person? This was the most common view of how gods interact with people. And our God long ago sought to differentiate from that view. That blessing was not transactional. God doesn’t bless for doing the right thing.
God blesses through promises. We see in the promises to the first humans, to Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob, that the blessing comes through a promise—and affection—because the point is generosity.
God prefers mercy. There’s a reason Jesus preaches repentance and forgiveness more than anything else. Because the point of faith isn’t earning or receiving anything. It is the generous offer of grace. Something God does constantly and Jesus compels his followers to do incessantly. Is forgiving seven times enough? No, seventy times seven!
While it is easy to find transactional grace in the Bible, it is far from the central concept. Jesus teaches us that we are blessed to bless others. We receive the sacraments to share God’s grace with one another. That is our generous act of love and mercy.