Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday: Considering REFORM

"You are Peter and this rock I will build my church." We remember these words of Jesus. What can we glean from Jesus' words and actions? Some might have thoughts of majestic construction. Indeed others might think of genuine reconstruction, rehabilitation. By selecting Peter, Jesus is teaching us that the community of the Church would never be perfect. Peter was known as a leader but also as a sinner. Thus Jesus was offering a reminder that all of Jesus' followers would also be followers of Adam and Eve. We would be a people in need of more than repentance. That "more" would take up the hearts and efforts of some to be reformers. Ignatius of Loyola, in the Spiritual Exercises, offers a meditation on Two Kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil. Through a reflection on the contest between the divine and what we might call evil, Satan or sin, we reflect on a very human reality: the need for repentance, yes, but more importantly on the need for reforming our lives. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, reflects on his own life: I am a sinner and I will always be a sinner, tempted by the not-so-good kingdom. Repent, I will. Yet, so often I find myself in need of forgiveness for the same faults and sins.

Perhaps we might more often recall Peter and his days of weakness as a reminder that humanity will always carry the cross of human weakness, of a tendency to sin.

Let us use today as an opportunity to examine our lives, to discover that we need in our lives more than repentance. Each of us can visualize in my heart and mind where my life needs serious efforts at change and rebuilding the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of goodness. In that experience I will discover again my sins but at the same time that my God is a God who forgives and that out of my effort to reform, I will have drawn myself so much closer to the love of Jesus Christ.