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Sin and Division

We live in a world where there is sin and division.  We see it in the moral (or lack thereof) behavior of people.  We see it in violent acts and terrorism.  We see in the political divisions within government that no longer seem to be “just different viewpoints” but taking sides for political reasons.  We also see sin and corruption in our Church with the clergy abuse scandal.

Is there hope?  Yes!  Conversion is possible!

We see it in today’s first reading (Tuesday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II) in Paul speaking of his conversion.  He was a very zealous Jew.  His ancestral Jewish heritage was very important to him.  So, since he believed Jesus to be a false messiah, he persecuted the Christians not to be mean but to correct them in their error.  That is, until the Risen Jesus appeared to Paul one day on the road to Damascus.  Paul underwent a total conversion to Christ and became a zealous Christian, an Apostle to the Gentiles.

Conversion is possible!

What got Paul to change?  Of course, it was direct divine intervention by Jesus himself.  Until then, I imagine there were a lot of Christians who saw the persecution by Paul praying for his conversion, for that divine intervention.  The Church was persecuted by the government for the first three centuries after Christ.  I am sure there were a lot of prayers for the end to the persecution.  At times since then, the Church has endured sin and corruption.  God has always rescued the Church, in part by the intercession of saints before their death like St. Catherine of Siena.

What is wrong with the world today?  People aren’t listening to God.  In today’s gospel, we hear the story of Martha and Mary.  Martha was caught in the work of making dinner.  She was trying to be a good host but let that take precedence over the fact that Jesus was right there in her house.  We need to do the work that God calls us but only after we follow the example of Martha’s sister Mary and listen to Jesus.

We are each called to different roles in this world.  We are all called to pray for the conversion of sinners.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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