Friday, January 27, 2012

The Process of Conversion

"Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear." Mt 4:28

Conversion is a process. We all know this, but continue to get fooled. Just as we think we can relax, sit back and enjoy where we are in life, change comes or is demanded of us. A parent or a friend gets sick, a child's life turns in a direction we never expected, and we have doubts about our vocations. There is no getting around it. Though we often resist it, change is necessary and inevitable.

In today's first reading, David's lust gets him in trouble. Almost like a peeping Tom, David, walking on his roof top, sees Bathsheba bathing. Smitten, he summons her, has relations with her and when she announces shortly afterwards that she is pregnant, he panics. David's pride or perhaps his fear of losing his influence in the community block his conscience, and he arranges to have Bathsheba's husband Uriah killed.

As our young people might say, you can't make this stuff up. Though David will be despised by God for sleeping with another man's wife and having her husband killed, his real punishment will be the death of the child he conceived with Bathsheba. Most of us would expect this to be the end of the story, but it is not. God relents, forgives David and Bathsheba gives birth to Solomon.

The lesson is clear. No matter how egregious our fault and sin, if we express true sorrow and are willing to change, God will forgive us and help us take the next steps in life. Conversion, like the land yielding fruit, is an ongoing process, "first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear."

Today, ask forgiveness of every sin, and the grace to change. There is much more life for all of us to live.


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