Reflection for Wednesday, January 26, 2000: 3rd week in Ordinary Time.
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Today the Church celebrates the life and the faith of two of its earliest saints, Timothy and Titus. Both were converts and beloved companions of Paul, whose letters of instruction and encouragement to each would eventually become part of the New Testament. Together with Mark's depiction of Christ's teaching through the parable of the farmer who went out sowing, their lives remind me of the graces and the challenges of conversion.||We tend to think of conversion as happening to someone else, someone not born into the faith, when actually God's loving creation and conversion is taking place within each of us, not merely every day but over and over every day. Over and over He sends His Spirit to teach, to guide, to call, to convert, indeed to change me evermore completely into His image. The question, of course, is how receptive am I to God's conversion. When that Sower comes down my row, how do I receive the seeds he showers on me? Are they carried away by the demons I've allowed into my life? Is my faith so superficial that they are soon blown away by what Paul calls my "share of the hardship which the gospel entails?" Are they eventually smothered by my absorption with career, status, security, even leisure? In the end, what's the yield from God's gifts in my life, my relationships, and my treatment of others?|This constant call to conversion can certainly sound like hard duty. And sometimes it is. The trick is to accept the challenge with joy, "to stir into flame the gift of God." By so doing, the promised rewards are great from the Spirit who "is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise." God asks nothing more and nothing less of us.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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