Homily for Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
Sometimes I think we underestimate (or maybe undervalue is the better word) the power of the conversion of one person. Just think about what would have happened had Paul not had his conversion. He would not have become the greatest evangelist in the early Church, we wouldn’t have some of the most poignant writings of our faith, and Christianity would have faced an incredible challenge because Paul would have kept persecuting the Church (and he was good at it). Instead, the Lord touched Paul’s heart in such a way that he totally changed his course of action. His moment of conversion was not just in recognizing that he was doing something wrong; his moment of conversion was the result of an encounter – an encounter with the Savior of the world.
Each of us in this church this morning is here because someone had a conversion of their own, someone in our lives had a deeply personal and intimate encounter with the Lord that changed their lives. It changed the course of human history. It changed our history. And the world would not be the same today – the Christian community would not be the same today – if even one of us was missing from it. Now think of it this way, the Lord made that conversion possible – whoever it was, whenever it was – because He wanted you as one His followers. He wanted you to be able to dwell with Him for all eternity. He simply wanted you.
The Lord has known each of us from the very beginning of time. He had a plan from the very foundation of the world for you and for me. That’s what the Responsorial Psalm talks about today. That God was the one who fashioned us and created us. And because of that, He desires nothing more than for us to be with Him. Each of us is important to God and He wants us to achieve our full potential. But that requires that we continually seek Him and strive to follow His commandments. Each of us needs our own conversions.
Conversion is not something that happens once and we’re done. It’s ongoing; it is something that has to happen every single day. So today, may we reflect on how the Lord is calling us to deeper conversion. We all know where we need to improve. May we hear the Lord’s words today calling us to conversion. Because like Paul and like those people in our family backgrounds who experienced their own intimate encounters with the Lord, the Lord desires that for us. And He desires it not just for us, but for all those whose lives will be changed in the process. Who knows? The person your conversion affects the most, might just end up being the next St. Paul, a person who will lead thousands of others to Christ. Will we listen to the Lord’s invitation today? Will we allow Him to draw us closer to Him and experience that total conversion? Because the future of the Christian faith might just depend on it.