To Become Perfect Is to Have Changed Often

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 / Jn 17:20-26

Several interesting patterns have shown themselves as we’ve read through the Acts of the Apostles these past seven weeks. On the one hand, there’s the joy that so many people experience as they come to know the Good News of Jesus, and on the other, there’s the anger and violence with which so many react to the preaching of this same Good News.

Why are the reactions so very different from people of similar backgrounds? The answer lies inside, in the fear-driven rigidity and brittleness of the one group and in the hope-driven confidence and openness of the other.

Long ago, Cardinal Newman said that to grow is to change and to become perfect is to have changed often. True enough, but wholesome growth and change are possible only for those who have solid roots in God, the ground of our being. Fear stifles growth and allows only one kind of action, and that is attack.

Don’t waste your life being angry and defending the indefensible. Let faith open your inner doors to the Spirit who brings growth, change, and joy.