March 31st, 2005
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“For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him
to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
Years ago whenever I finished a particularly distasteful college
course, I took my notes to the final and then joyfully tossed them
into the first trash can I saw after the test. In reflecting on
the final sentence of today’s reading from the Acts of the
Apostles, it hit me that this is how I’ve tended to treat
the transition from Lent to Easter.
For six weeks, I’ve tried to “turn from evil ways”
– or at least improve my boringly fault-filled ways. Then
it’s Easter. Done with Lent for another year. Pass the M&M’s,
put the Bible back on the shelf. Forget the penance/reflection stuff
for another year.
But today’s readings remind us that Easter joy doesn’t
end the process of conversion. It was only after they were filled
with the joy of the risen Christ that the apostles were able to
fully convert their own lives and reach out to others to do the
same. The readings tell us that we must continue the journey of
conversion that we undertook during Lent throughout the next year.
When I started exercising regularly about 25 years ago, it was painful
but the benefits were enormous. I promised myself I would never
start exercising again. That meant keeping it up – and I have.
During this joyful Easter week, let us promise ourselves that we’ll
never again start another conversion journey because the course
we started on Ash Wednesday has no ending. Blessings of the season!
to the writer of this reflection.
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