Monday, January 16, 2012

Do you have a heart three sizes too small?

Everyone is called to conversion - even cradle Catholics.  Our lives should be filled with conversion moments where we are called into a deeper relationship with Christ.  If you respond yes to that call, then life has to change.  Today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark (2:18-22) bares that out with it’s images of feasting with the bridegroom, a tear of a cloak growing larger, and wine skins bursting.
One evening, during the first year of grad school, I was lying on the floor of what was supposed to be the dining room.  I didn’t own a table or chairs because I was a poor Divinity student so that area was my “pondering” space.  As I laid there, pondering, staring at the ceiling, it hit me that I could not go back to my old life.  “Well,” said my internal dialogue, “you could go back to your old life, but would you want to?”  And the answer was no.  Not only did I not want to go back to my old life as a pastry chef, I didn’t want to go back to the old me.  Christ had called me to a deeper relationship; he’d asked me to take a big chance by going into ministry.  Amazingly, my life had not imploded as I feared it would.  Life was better.  I was happier.  Sure, I still had struggles and I didn’t own a table or chairs, but it was a better path than the one I had been on.
The point of today’s Gospel passage is that a new life can not fit into your old one.  You are not the same person when Christ comes calling and Christ doesn’t want you to live your old, sinful life.  It’s like the Grinch after he realizes what Christmas is all about.  His withered heart could not contain his new found knowledge and love.  His heart had to grow.  
Where in your life are you like the Grinch with a heart 3 sizes too small?  Christ will give you the grace you need to grow your heart.

1 comment:

  1. One of the interesting puzzles about these words of Jesus in Mark's Gospel is that Jesus seems to care not only for the new, but for the old as well. So, he tells us not to put new wine in old wineskins because, when they burst, both the old skins and the new wine will be ruined. I recall before entering the Order of Preachers that one of my insights was this, that to continue to lead my life without engaging the call to religious life and priesthood was to live my life as a second best. Said differently, if my "old life" was the best one for me, then I need to know this and stop putting the "new wine" of thoughts of priesthood and religious life in the way of my happiness. Conversely, if this new wine was for me, I needed to do something about it, lest I ruin both the life I had been living and the life to which I was called.

    Thank you, by the way, for your blog!