June 15, 2019 – Saturday 10th Week in OT
2 Cor 5:14-21; Mt 5:33-37
The letter of St Paul that we have heard today reflects the reality that Paul himself experienced. Through his encounter with the risen Jesus, Paul saw new things in his life. Paul realized too how Jesus renewed him and his spirit. It was through forgiveness of the past that Paul was able to receive the wonder of being made new.
Through his personal encounter with Jesus, he too experienced “a makeover” by Jesus. It started with the makeover of the heart of Paul. Paul became welcoming of Jesus and of the many revelations that Jesus gave to Paul. Paul also became more familiar to the words of Jesus, and thus, of the will of God, of what God desires rather than his personal desires.
As a result, that makeover of the heart of Paul overflowed to his actions and words. Paul began to see new things. From being persecutor of the Christians, he became an apostle. From treating the Christians brutally, Paul became accommodating, generous and kind not just to Christians but to all. Paul began to see the world differently; from his anger and hatred, Jesus made Paul’s heart and mind to see the world as Jesus sees it. Thus, Paul saw and found his true self before Jesus. He also realized the goodness of others, the beauty of God’s creation.
This complete change or “makeover” in the life of Paul was made possible because he was reconciled with his dark past and with God. This brought Paul to fully believe in the transforming love of Jesus for him.
This tells us now that when we also become reconciled with our dark and painful past, then we begin to see new things. By accepting that we are loved and forgiven, we shall also find our true self that is treasured and cherished by God.
To have that experience of makeover in our life, then, this will surely be translated into our words and actions. Though, the makeover in our life will be on our spiritual and emotional aspect, but then, it will overflow in the way we relate with others.
This is what Jesus reminds us in the Gospel today. In the life of Paul, he became a man of integrity and generosity. He was indeed an honest, kind and generous person that is why, people believed in his testimony about Jesus. The people, certainly, had witnessed personally how the words of Jesus were manifested in the life of Paul, not just in his preaching but also in the way he treated the people around him.
This is the invitation for us today. Jesus calls us to be reconciled with our past so that we will be able to find and realize the beauty of being renewed, of being forgiven and loved.
Seek now the grace of reconciliation by being daring enough to confront our sinful and selfish ways, by being bold enough to be reconciled with the person to whom our relationship has become cold and sour, and by being open enough to allow God to transform us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
And hopefully, this experience of makeover by Jesus in us will also lead us to become persons with integrity, of generosity and kindness not just in our words but also in our actions. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR