My thoughts (David Zier):
Breaking with our past is never absolute. It’s not easy. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. If it were, maybe we wouldn’t appreciate where we have been, what we have been through, and where we are going.
After Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven in three parables, He asks the crowds if they understood his parables. He tells the scribes who have been trained for the kingdom of heaven to bring out their treasures like a master of a household. These treasures are made up of “what is new and what is old”.
Like that scribe, we should be able to bring out treasure that is new and treasure that is old. The transformation of our past occurs when our old selves are turned into new treasure. What was good is made better by being put into service for Jesus Christ and his ministry of mercy, love, and justice, and of hope and salvation from God.
But what about the bad stuff? The self-destructive, the shameful, the selfish, the self-righteous, the egotistical — all the junk stored in our past. This can be transformed into a kind of treasure: treasure in the lessons learned from it. It can become humility, understanding for the weakness of others, and deliberate openness to God’s grace.
From past troubles, we can learn a new responsiveness to God and a new compassion for other people who are now where we have been. The past remains what it is, but what we carry with us from the past is changed in Christ.
Thought for the day: Do you know where you came from? Do you know where you’re going in Christ?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.