Sometimes I find that the words of Jesus in the Gospels jump out of the page and shock me. In today’s passage His question, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” struck me quite forcefully and caused me to reflect upon the meaning of them. It is so easy to conceive of evil in our hearts. This is where sin begins. If we are truly going to grow in holiness, then we will have to learn how to stop conceiving of sin in our hearts and not just putting into action the evil thoughts that come to us so regularly.

This process of changing the way in which we think is affirmed in Romans 12:1-2 where Paul calls us to a renewal of our minds and a conforming of them to the mind of Christ. Herein lies the key! Jesus knows that what He does is good and holy because He knows that His will is one with the will of His Father! St Paul tells us that we can only have that same assurance if we renew our minds according to the mind of Christ.

This is not an easy thing to do! In the Gospel we have Jesus chastising the scribes, one of the leading groups of the Jews, precisely because their ways of thinking do not conform with His way of thinking. Jesus is surprised because the act question is an act of mercy. One would not normally think that it would cause such a vehement reaction in the scribes. Thus is the nature of sin. It conflicts with the mind and heart of God. Jesus has very little time to spare for the small-mindedness of the scribes and will similarly treat us if we fail to conform our ways of thinking and acting to His own ways of love and mercy.

It is important for us to take every opportunity to allow our minds to be conformed to Christ. Prayer, reading of the Scriptures other spiritual reading and acts of mercy and love thus become imperatives in our lives if we wish to be true disciples of Jesus. Let us hope and pray that we can grow into the fullness of our Christian potential by taking the daily opportunities to conform our minds, hearts and actions to those of Jesus Christ.

What areas of my life are lacking in their conformity to Christ? What steps can I take to grow in the mind and heart of God? How can I open up my life more and more to the transforming grace of the Holy Spirit?

Lord Jesus, you are the way, the truth and the life. You have the words of everlasting life. Grant me the grace to entrust my life to these truths so that I might daily grow as your disciple.