“Reform your lives! The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” These words of Jesus warn us against sleeping our lives away, against spiritual laziness. Like headlines about a disaster on the front page of the newspaper, the words and actions of Jesus are urgent and often unsettling. Our Lord makes it clear that we cannot afford confusion about where we are heading. We must realize that our words and actions of each day, of every moment, have eternal significance.
Sin is incompatible with the Gospel, but Christianity is not a science of escaping as much punishment as possible in the hands of an angry God simply by strict observance of the rules. Christianity is about a relationship, important above all others. Our faith should be our very life, more precious than all other things. We should pray that our lives will be a gift that we return to the Lord in ever greater generosity as we follow our call to heroic holiness. If we cannot say this is true, then we are not the Christians our Lord calls us to be. If we realize that the stakes are eternal, than the words of Christ will not be lost upon us. We will take his
words and teachings to heart, as spirit and life. “Reform your lives.”
The Catechism speaks about the way of conversion for Christians. “The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) Moved by grace man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.” Our faith is also one of reaching out, proclaiming Christ to others, inviting others to share the life of Christ. “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Preaching, teaching and proclaiming the fantastic news about the kingdom is not just for the apostles, the pope, bishops, and priests, but for all the baptized.
Our life, first given in baptism, by its nature seeks to share itself with others. Faith will not satisfy, will not grow or bring more life, if we are content to keep it inside. True faith seeks generously to be shared with all of the brothers and sisters we meet. Share your faith, be “fishers of men”, and your faith-life will overflow in joy and will surely grow, welling up to eternal life.