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Transformation of Sinner to Saint

By: Father David Marcham on October 27th, 2023

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Transformation of Sinner to Saint

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Today, we hear that St. Paul confesses that even though he wants to do “the good,” he falls short; in fact, he doesn’t just fail to do good; he sometimes does what’s wrong.

Then there’s Jesus telling the crowds that although they can recognize natural signs connected to the weather, such as a wind blowing from the west coming before the heat, they fail to understand their present time, which is understood as their need for repentance and conversion of life.

That’s a lot for us to take in!

St. Paul as an Example

But, when you hear such a pillar in our faith, like St. Paul, admit his failings, it can cause you to either to be encouraged because you can relate … or it can make it seem heroic to do what’s right. (Either way, there’s work to be done.)

Actually, there’s a third possibility, and it’s to see that though we all do battle with sin, with God’s grace and our striving to follow God’s way, we, like St. Paul, can be transformed from sinners to saints, through prayer, the Sacrament of Confession, and penance.

Transformation is a Process

But as we know, this transformation is a process, one of ups and downs, and remembering how much our emotions can get ahead of and, at times, override our intellect and will and the need to humbly begin again and again!

A few days ago, I said in a homily that when we get up in the morning, not many people say, I wonder what bad I can do today. If you’re like me, you’re just wondering what day it is.

And, yet sometimes before we leave home, we say something to a loved one that we regret, if not at the moment, not long after we’ve gotten into our car, the train, or the bus.

And, if we somehow manage to avoid that pitfall, our commutes have all sorts of possibilities for us to wish ill upon our fellow drivers or passengers …and that’s all before 9 a.m.! From there on, we know there are countless possibilities.

Answer to the Struggle

Today’s Psalm (119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94) is a beautiful prayer asking for God to teach us His precepts for life, asking for the kindness and compassion of God, and promising our trust in God, the God who can save us from ourselves.

St. Paul ends his confession of his struggle to do the good and turn away from sin by saying, “Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” And then answering, as we all can, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus is the answer.

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!