THE CAPACITY AND THE COURAGE TO CHANGE
????Acts 22:3-16; Ps 117:1, 2, (R. Mark 16:15); Mark 16:15-18
????THE CAPACITY AND THE COURAGE TO CHANGE
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit dwell with you (2 Cor 13:13) both now and forever, Amen.
The celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, among other things, tells us that no matter how bad our past has been, we can begin anew.
St. Paul was a zealous persecutor of the Christians before Jesus arrested him on his way to Damascus. That kind of mission had won him a reputable status among the Jews, and he must have been gaining a lot from it. But when Jesus called, like the first four disciples (cf. Mark 1:16-20), he left everything to follow Jesus.
Do you think, as someone once said, that he was left with no other option? No! Even though Jesus stopped him from persecuting his people and called him to discipleship, his freewill was not taken away from him. He could have resisted the change, but he didn’t.
He did not look back at the affluence and the prestige he would lose among the Jews if he abandon the course of leading the war against Christians. He regarded everything as a loss when compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus (Phil 3:8).
Today, many of us would not want to change from our evil way because of what we think we gain from it. Even some pastors have lost their prophetic voice because of what they might gain. Those ways lead to doom.
Again, some are reluctant to change because they feel that God cannot forgive them again. But we must know that there is nothing that is greater than the mercy of God. Listen to the testimony of Paul himself, “… I had been a blasphemer, a persecutor and a rapid enemy. However, he took mercy on me… and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant” (1 Tim 1:13-14).
Your case shall not be different! As you make effort to follow him, may his grace and mercy overflow in abundance for you, to guide you and protect you. Amen.
Have a peaceful day ahead. Peace be with you.