WE CANNOT EXPECT TO INSPIRE CHANGE IN OTHERS IF WE HAVE NOT UNDERGONE A PERSONAL CONVERSION
First Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 32(33):12-13,18-20,22
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:1-5
In a milieu marked by constant flux, the need for transformation has become increasingly apparent. We witness societal upheavals, personal struggles, and a yearning for something more meaningful in our lives. It is within this context that the readings from Genesis 12:1-9, Psalm 32(33):12-13,18-20,22, and Matthew 7:1-5 provide invaluable insights into the call for radical change.
Resting on the established backdrop, we can now understand why in our journey of faith, we often find ourselves confronted by moments when God beckons us to step beyond our comfort zones, challenging us to leave behind the familiar and embrace the unknown. Such moments bear resemblance to the pivotal encounter of Abraham with the Divine, as we witness in the First Reading (Genesis 12:1-9), the extraordinary call of God to Abraham, demanding that he uproot himself from his homeland and set forth towards an unknown destination. This radical change not only altered Abraham’s physical surroundings but demanded a profound shift in his entire being—a relinquishing of his attachments, a reorientation of his priorities, and a complete surrender to the divine will. Abraham’s response to this divine call represents a pivotal moment in salvation history. His willingness to embark on this journey of faith and leave behind the security of his homeland became a paradigm for future generations. Abraham’s radical change became a catalyst for the formation of God’s chosen people, reminding us that transformation begins with a humble and obedient heart that fully trusts in God’s guidance and providence. In this narrative, we are reminded of the importance of surrendering our own plans and desires to the divine will. It is through trust and obedience that we open ourselves to the boundless possibilities of God’s guidance and purpose for our lives.
In a nexus, the Responsorial Psalm, Psalm [32(33):12-13,18-20,22] reinforces the theme of change by emphasizing the importance of righteousness and trust in God. As the psalmist reminds us, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and blessed are we when we trust in the Almighty’s unfailing love. Seeking righteousness involves aligning our thoughts, actions, and intentions with God’s commandments, allowing divine grace to guide our decisions. It is through righteousness and trust that we open ourselves to the transformative power of God’s love, paving the way for profound change in our lives.
Transitioning to the Gospel Reading from Matthew (7:1-5), Jesus challenges us to examine our own hearts before seeking to change others. In other words, the gospel reading reflects Jesus’ teachings on self-examination and the call to remove the log from our own eyes before seeking to address the speck in our brother’s eye for a real change. Put differently, Jesus masterfully highlights the importance of humility, self-awareness, and personal transformation. He challenges us to examine our own faults and shortcomings before hastily passing judgment on others. True change begins with an honest and thorough examination of ourselves, allowing God’s grace to illuminate our hidden flaws and areas in need of improvement. It involves a genuine self-reflection that prompts us to remove the barriers hindering our relationship with God and our ability to impact the lives of others positively.
As Christians, we are called to be catalysts for change—change that originates from a deep wellspring of faith, trust, and self-examination. This transformative process requires a radical reorientation of our hearts, minds, and actions toward the values and teachings of Christ. It necessitates a willingness to leave behind the attachments that hinder our spiritual growth and embrace the unknown paths that God lays before us. Let us not forget that true transformation begins within ourselves. We cannot expect to inspire change in others if we have not undergone a personal conversion. Let us reflect on our attitudes, prejudices, and shortcomings, asking God for the humility to acknowledge them. In doing so, we create space for God’s transformative power to work within us, molding us into instruments of love, compassion, and mercy.
Dear brothers and sisters, the need for radical change resonates deeply within the human spirit. Our hearts long for transformation, for a life that transcends the superficial and mundane. Today’s readings remind us that true and lasting change can only be realized through a deep encounter with the Divine—the call to embark on a transformative journey of faith, trust, righteousness, and self-examination. May we, like Abraham, respond to God’s call with unwavering trust and obedience, allowing Him to lead us to new horizons. May we heed the psalmist’s exhortation to trust in the Lord, cultivating righteousness and becoming vessels of God’s transformative grace. And may we embrace Jesus’ teaching on self-examination, removing the logs from our own eyes before seeking to bring about change in the lives of others.
As we embrace the need for radical change in our lives, let us do so with faith, hope, and love, knowing that God’s transformative power is at work within us. May we be empowered to be agents of change, impacting our families, communities, and the world with the light of Christ. In this pursuit of radical change, let us humbly surrender ourselves to God’s guiding hand, for it is through His grace that we become the instruments of transformation that our world so desperately needs. And as we undergo this inner transformation, may we become catalysts of change in the world, spreading God’s love and mercy to all we encounter. Let us embrace the radical change that God desires for us, trusting in His providence and following His path of righteousness.
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© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo.
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