Scripture Reading: Philippians. 3:13
In life, our past influences our present and shapes our future. Good, if the past is worth considering. Worst, if the past is of bad memory. There is, however, a privilege for each and every one of us that even when the past was bad, we can make out of it, some good to better our present and future. St. Paul had a bad past because he was an enemy of the Church. At his feet, St. Stephen was stoned to death. Of him is accounted that he was doing great harm to the church; he entered house after house and dragged off men and women and had them put in jail. (Acts.8:1-3) This was the past of St. Paul. The turning point for him was when he met with the mercy of God on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians having received permission to do so. (Acts. 9) He found the right path. Though he had a great zeal for the religious practices of Judaism, but he needed to be saved for he was ignorant of what he was doing. Paul was in charge of the suppression of the enemies of Judaism and he did this with utmost zeal, for the good of Judaism. His past was really ridiculous!
St. Peter had a past too. He had denied Jesus, but did not allow that affect his present and influence his future. He knew how to go about it and he did just that. He repented of his action and reversed his past to something new in the love of Christ. There is a difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot. Judas allowed his past hunt him down and would not forgive himself. He got choked by his past. St. Paul was a hero. In verse13-14 of the scriptural passage today, St. Paul says: “I say only this, forgetting what is behind me, I race forward and run towards the goal, my eyes on the prize to which God has called us from above in Christ Jesus”. Paul would not allow his past hunt him down; he was ready to let go of the things behind him and let God into the picture of his life.
Dear beloved in Christ, we have various life experiences also. Some very ugly incidences that would want to distract us from our goal of making heaven. According to Oscar Wilde, “Every Saint had a past and every sinner has a future.” We are familiar with the story of St. Mary Magdalene who had a very terrible past. When she met with Jesus, she never remained the same again. She forgot her past and would want to be where Jesus was. She was blessed with being the first to see the resurrected Christ. St. Peter became the head of the Church. St. Augustine had a very ugly past, but he became a bishop of the Church. They left their past and allowed God be in charge. They would never allow their past hunt or knock them off the track of making heaven. They would never want to live the past in the present.
O child of God, you have a bright future. God is not interested in your past. (Luke 15: 31-40) He is the prodigal Father, waiting to turn your past into something of His glory. Forget the old ways and all its glories; focus on Christ who never changes. Focus on the goal of your salvation, that’s making heaven. Let your mind be in the things of heaven where Christ is seated. (Col. 3:2) The Lord does not want you to continue in your past but repent of the past and live. (Ez.18:23) Paul Tillich says, “The saint is a saint, not because he is ‘good’ but because he is transparent for something that is more than he himself is.”
MASS: WHITE Heb 12: 1-4; Ps 22: 26b-27. 28 and 30. 31-32; Mk 5: 21-43 JOHN BOSCO, P, RF M
Take a song as led by the Holy Spirit.
Confess your sins to the Lord and seek forgiveness.
Lord, I cancel now by the power in Your precious Blood all that has held me back from surrendering totally to You.
Enlighten me, O good Jesus, with the brightness of eternal light, and cast out all darkness from the dwelling of my heart. Restrain my many wandering thoughts and suppress the temptations that violently assault me.
Pray seriously and meticulously with Psa. 51: 9-12.
Exercise: Pray for all those who are suffering from all forms of depression due to their past.