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A Second Chance - Family Reflection Video

A Second Chance - Family Reflection Video

Strengthening family unity

Ben Carson faced the greatest challenge of his life: the separation of seven-month-old Siamese twins. The surgical team practiced the procedures for weeks because even a slight error could cost lives. During the fourteen-hour operation, Carson said, "We did our best. The rest is God's." Today, he is one of the most celebrated pediatric neurosurgeons in the world.



Dr. Ben Carson knows that God can change people and situations, not only in the hospital but also in the streets. Born in the Detroit ghetto, Carson was used to knives of a different kind. As a fourteen-year-old, he lunged a knife at another kid's stomach only to see the blade strike the belt buckle and break. It scared him. He realized that he needed to turn his life around. He couldn't do it alone. He asked God for a second chance. A second chance with his life.

With God's help, and the love and support of his mother, he left the streets and eventually went to Yale University. He, who once used his knife to try to take away someone's life, now uses his knife to give life to thousands.

It's common to hear people say, "Give me a second chance!" after making a mistake. Whenever students were referred to my office for the mischief they did at the school where I worked, I heard many pleas for a second chance. Some of them were serious and genuine about their second chance request, while others just wanted to avoid punishment or detention.

There are several great personalities in Scripture who were graciously granted a second chance. We have Paul, an executioner turned great missionary; Thomas, a doubter turned believer; Peter, a person who denied Jesus, then became the first head of the Church.


The Tax Collector Apostle


Today's gospel is another story of a "second chance" given to Matthew, a Jew, who sold his services to the Romans to collect taxes for them from his countrymen. Matthew was not a good man in the eyes of many. Except for his fellow tax collectors and sinners, nobody wanted to be seen with him.

However, one man, Jesus by name, dared not only to be seen with him, but even ate in his house with the rest of Matthew's company of tax collectors and sinners. He gave Matthew a "second chance" by inviting him to be one of His disciples. It was the chance of a lifetime to redeem his past and create a new future.

Despite our shortcomings, God gives us a "second chance" to reform ourselves.


Rebuilding Relationships


Second chances are not limited to Dr. Ben Carson and Matthew, the tax collector; they can also be extended to us and to our families. Family, too, has the power to heal and rebuild, just as Dr. Carson's life was transformed by his mother's love and faith in God. Families can foster love, unity, and growth by embracing forgiveness, understanding, and a willingness to change. Remember that it is never too late to mend relationships and allow us and our loved ones to start anew.

Like Matthew, let us stand up and leave our sinful past behind; we humbly pray: "Lord, give me a second chance." Or let us offer someone else a second chance.

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.