“Newness of Life”

Here is the commentaries from our Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“Everyone wants to make the best of life. We love life, but we experience daily how brittle it is. There are people who try to live without restraints. They follow the epicurean philosophy of the pagan Romans: ‘Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.’

“But we could also look at life in the following way: In order to transcend life, I must die to my old, immature, egotistic self. If I want to become a mature and grown-up person, I must leave my youth behind me. Does this make sense? Is it meaningful to be generous and dedicated to ideals (perfection), to ‘mature in Christ’ as the Bible puts it, if everything collapses with death anyway?

“In the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, we Christians discover the love of God who calls you and me to an everlasting life-sharing with Him. The raising of Lazarus is a sign of Jesus’ victory over death, and a sign of hope for all of us. In faith, we can regard a life of dedication to ideals as budding (emerging, beginning) into the full blossoming of life everlasting.”

I personally experienced “Newness of Life,” (our theme), only when I decided to follow The Lord. It’s a major decision, that henceforth I will obey His will for my life. It happened in 1980, while I was reading a book by Charles Colson, a special council to Richard Nixon, during the watergate scandal, who later became a Christian and wrote the book, “Born Again.”

How would I characterize the experience in the next few years after conversion? First I think my consciousness for what is right and wrong were made more clear. On all aspects of life, my sensitivity seemed to have sharpened. I begin to appreciate the beauty of plants and flowers, and the small little things or ordinary things in life, like for example the taking of a bath. I wonder to myself that God can make you happy even if you are in a remote area. God can make you completely satisfied even if you are just at home reading The Bible. There seemed to be much hope now. My faith begin to grow. I begin to translate my faith into social action. Although I was already socially conscious as early as 1972, partly because of the students activism during those days and my father’s comments on the Vietnam war, those social concern just remain in my head.

I think the experience that The Lord will give to each one of us who will decide to follow Him will differ from each individual. I am sure they will all be beautiful, but since The Lord has an unlimited resources, chances are He will not repeat Himself.

Spiritual conversion or Spiritual Rebirth is the greatest gift that The Lord wants to give us. It is greater than the life He has already given us here on Earth.

Happy Sunday, The Lord’s day, to everyone ! May you have The Lord’s grace and peace !

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