Like St. Paul, we too can become the good news
April 18, 2019
St. Paul tells the people of Corinth he has become all things to all people. What gives him the right to make such a seemingly outrageous boast? Further, what does he mean by his mysterious turn of phrase?
As we read on through his letter we see that St. Paul’s “boast” is really no boast at all. Rather it’s merely a realization of the change that has taken place in his heart since he met Mercy Incarnate. His encounter with the risen Lord has changed him forever. It has expanded and stretched his heart so much that now it only beats for others. He is compelled to proclaim the good news. In fact, he sees it as an obligation that cannot be ignored.
St. Paul’s transformation of heart was a spiritual migration from hearing the good news to becoming the good news. His flesh was animated by his love for God and a profound desire for others to experience the same conversion of heart that he had. We should not be surprised by the powerful effect that St. Paul’s brief encounter with Jesus had on him. We should not expect anything less for ourselves. The same love that woke St. Paul up from his sleep of spiritual blindness has the power to awaken us as well. We too can become the good news.
At our baptism we were grafted onto Christ. Thus, the obligation to proclaim Jesus Christ risen from the dead has been inscribed on our hearts. The impulse to serve others and spread the good news will overtake us once we have encountered Mercy Himself. We, like St. Paul, will be forever changed and unable to go back to the place we were before. We will be driven by the same zeal that compelled him to give his last breath for the sake of the Kingdom.
Transformation to becoming the good news starts small and will take a lifetime. Start today by inviting Jesus into a memory of which you are ashamed. Allow him to stay with you in that place. Then follow him to wherever he leads you next.
Father Walter Nolte is pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont. Contact him at email@example.com.