This past year has challenged us to see our lives in new ways. To appreciate what is most important to us, our families, our friends, our colleagues, to realize the work and dedication of so many dedicated professionals, workers, who make it possible for our families and community to function.
It has been a time of struggle, a time of suffering, a time of anxiety and fear. It has also been a time of learning to adapt, to change, to do without. It has been a time of growing closer while staying apart.
In many ways the advent of this pandemic is not unlike the horse that threw St. Paul to the ground. Like St. Paul we are forced to see our lives, our world in a new light. It has reminded us of our need for each other, our responsibility to the common good.
This moment in our history, our experience, does indeed have the elements of conversion, but in terms of faith, conversion is not just a one and done.
We heard Jesus challenge in the Gospel yesterday, “The Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the Gospel.” That is an ongoing process, that is conversion.
True conversion is a lifelong process of learning what God calls us to be, and responding to His call. His challenge.
As difficult as this moment has been for us, this past year, may it help us to understand what true conversion is, how we had to change our lives.
In a few months we will hopefully be back to some sense of normalcy. May we not forget this experience, the moments of dedicated service, compassion, and generosity that we have experienced.
May we continue to work to create a church dedicated to works of compassion and reconciliation for all.
May we use this experience as St. Paul did, to see our lives in that new light and become the disciples Jesus calls us to be.