No politics, please. Saturday, 23rd Week in ordinary time- I Timothy 1:15-17

When our minds are enraptured by a fascinating or life changing thought, then our conversations, vocabulary and writings become an extension of that thought.  Our repetitive words and sentences are indicative of the thoughts occupying our mind.  If we hate something we would end up talking about it all day long and everyone knows better not to utter the word that might set off the next world war. The same holds if we love someone; their name is ever on our lips our minds recalling every detail of their being. It could be a gadget we have bought, a place we have visited or a person we have met if we love it we talk about it.

St Paul has a love that he can’t stop talking about and that is seen in our reading of today. The reading is part of a larger doxology (a liturgical formula of praise to God) wherein Paul pens the name of Christ Jesus four times in six verses.  In all of his letters he mentions Jesus two hundred and eighteen times. I guess you know what’s on Paul’s mind for his agenda is clear.

Paul had undergone a deep conversion on the road to Damascus. The scriptures do not tell us the precise moment that Saul the persecutor became Paul the preacher; and for very good reason. Conversion is not a moment, it’s a process and may I dare say, in some cases, one where we fall more than we stand. It was the acceptance of his calling to service (1:12) that prompted Paul the preacher to stand up and proclaim; and proclaim he did.

Paul’s great boast is not in his achievements, for in his own words he calls them ‘rubbish’ (Phil 3:8). His boast is in the fact that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1:15) like him.  It would be presumptuous to state here that ALL sinners are saved by Jesus, for saving grace also demands contrition of sin. At the same time God’s mercy can’t be limited by humankind for God is God and His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not ours.

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