Before St. Paul became a great preacher and apostle, he was known for persecuting Christians. Christopher Alt, SJ, reflects on second chances and the need to give people the freedom to change. Based on the readings for Sunday, May 2, 2021.
Change – even good change – is often difficult and unsettling.
Hi, I’m Christopher Alt and this is my One-Minute Reflection.
In today’s first reading, Saul tries to join the disciples. And out of fear, they say “NO WAY! Saul, we know exactly who you are and what you’ve done!”
But the disciples eventually do lean in. They listen to Saul’s story. They try trust; they risk relationship. Thank God they did. Otherwise, Saul may never have become Paul and the Christian community would have lost a great apostle.
Today, we can ask: What good is it to stereotype and typecast and hold people’s past against them? Why do we fall into familiar patterns and force each other and ourselves into rigid roles, even when we know they’re dysfunctional, and divisive, and will leave us feeling stuck?
Today, God is still building up the community. Becoming something new is a part of God’s plan. The question is: Can we allow others the freedom to change? And will we extend that same grace to ourselves?