A genuine encounter with Jesus changes a person. In today’s readings we read about people who have encountered God and changed. In the first reading from Zephaniah 3, we see that most of the people have rejected God. But the LORD says, “For then I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one accord.” This didn’t mean everyone, but only a faithful remnant.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 21, Jesus tells the chief priests and elders that “tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you.” Why? Because their encounter with John the Baptist (and Jesus) changed them. They repented and changed their ways.
Have you had a life-changing encounter with Jesus? Here’s what I’ve found: Having that AHA! moment, that life-changing encounter with Jesus is great. But often it wears off. We so easily fall back into our old complacent ways. We must have regular life-changing encounters with Jesus. By reading the Word, participating in the sacramental life and regular prayer, we can be in a constant state of change – for the better!
Father, give us the strength and grace to strive to encounter you daily, that we may be changed into more closely resembling your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.
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