By Fr. Roy Cimagala
NOW that we in the month of October, let’s remind ourselves of the importance of the Holy Rosary. It’s a very helpful prayer that lets us go through the life of Christ, the pattern of our humanity, with Mary who is the best teacher and guide in knowing Christ whose life we should try to reflect in ours.
The month opens with the liturgical celebration of the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time whose gospel reading talks about that parable of the two sons who were asked by their father to work in their vineyard. (cfr. Mt 21,28-32)
The first son at first refused his father’s request but later on changed his mind. The second said, yes, but actually did not go. Obviously, the first son did the father’s will, but only after some conversion. The second was just full of intention and words but failed in the action part.
The lesson that we should draw from this gospel parable is that we are always in need of conversion for us to do God’s will. We cannot deny that we can have a lot of what is called now as political or social correctness, but still fail to do God’s will, the real good for us.
We have to realize deeply that conversion is a continuing affair for all of us in this life. We can never say, if we have to follow by what our Christian faith tells us, that we are good enough as to need conversion no more.
We are all sinners, St. John said. And even the just man, as the Bible said, falls seven times in a day. (cfr. Proverbs 24,16)
Besides, it is this sense of continuing conversion that would really ensure us that whatever we do, whatever would happen to us, including our failures and defeats, would redound to what is truly good for the parties concerned and for everybody else in general.
That’s because conversion brings us and everything that we have done in life to a reconciliation with God, from whom we come and to whom we go.
In one of the post-resurrection appearances of Christ to his apostles, that time when it was said that Christ “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” our Lord told them clearly:
“Thus, it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Lk 24,46-47)
Yes, repentance for the forgiveness of sins has to be preached far and wide and constantly. These words show how much Christ is bent in saving us, in bringing us to our true dignity of a functioning child of God. This is his will for us. We just have to learn to correspond to that will, which is actually for our own true good.
The mark of true saints is precisely this hunger and thirst for repentance and conversion. Whatever good they did humbled them instead of leaving them proud. They knew who and what was behind all the accomplishments they made, and were more keenly aware of their inadequacies, their mistakes, faults, infidelities, etc.
It’s not that they led a miserable life of having a dark outlook in life and a negative attitude toward their own selves. They were a happy lot, whose joy sprang from their living and faithful union with God, their father, but aware of their total dependence on God.
Let’s always feel the need for conversion!