'Now is a very acceptable time'

"Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." - 2 Corinthians 6:2b

This verse is supposed to precede today's Gospel, which is about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. 

My favorite apostle Paul wrote the letters to the Corinthians. He was also one of the best examples of Jesus loving his enemies.

Paul wasn't one of the original 12 apostles. In fact, he hadn't heard of Jesus before his death. He persecuted the early Christians, leading them to imprisonment and death by execution. 

And yet Jesus showed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus and changed his heart.

Paul went on to become one of the most important figures in the years following Jesus' death, writing 13 of the 27 books of The New Testament. To this day, his writings inspire a multitude of believers.

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I discovered Paul through his letters. I was a young student at a Catholic school weighed down by the guilt of the Old Testament, and I was struck by how poetic the language of the Letters to the Corinthians was and how filled with love these books of the Bible were.

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I always say I'm not a good Catholic. And I'm not, even in this Lenten journey. 

Yesterday, I had meat on a Friday. I was sorry, but I still ate the meat because there was nothing else. 

I could have fasted, I know. I'm sorry.

I have also done terrible things that I think God won't forgive me for. Sometimes, I'm not even sorry.

But now I think of Paul and the grace he received when he was most unworthy. When nobody would dare think he deserved an ounce of it.

He had a change of heart, and that turned into a lasting legacy that transformed the very thing he had wanted to kill then had come to love.

What a redemption arc.

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I want a changed heart. Can it be now?