Human Capacity for Transformation

“We should like to hear you on this some other time.” (Acts 17:32)

These words from those Greeks hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ from Paul sadly resonate in my heart. There is a tendency in our hearts, especially after being called out by the truth to act righteously, to say “it’s complicated”, and to then stagnate in inaction. For all the access to information and super-fast processing speeds, we seemingly more than ever lack the will to do what is right, out of fear, all while explaining with a thinly veiled excuse that we “need to think about it”. Our insistence on over-analysis reflects the greatly misplaced reverence with which we view our own opinions and expectations. We view that every question, statement, and feeling must pass through the “filter” of our own judgment before being acted upon. Although we may initially be satisfied with this approach to life, we soon see how exhausting and stressful this is.

Desire for Control

At its core, this desire for control reflects a great lack of trust in God’s loving presence and His desires for our sanctification and perfection in Him. Because of our sins, we lose sight of our identity as children of God who have been given the greatest inheritance of incorporation into the real love of the trinity. As Paul says, “For we too are His offspring. Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.” This is indeed good news. Paul’s statement raises in me a great joy and excitement, knowing that as a human being, I am the greatest of God’s creation. As a father desires the greatest for his son, so God desires my greatness.


In our time on Earth, we will not fully realize the import of the transformation that God wants to offer to us. It is said in today’s Gospel regarding our reception of this truth: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” (John 16:12). We receive hints of this reality in our lives, but we must be purified. Our beautiful transformation is the satisfaction of every God-given desire in a full and complete way.

As Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:15). These words are clearly an explanation that in receiving from the Father what is Jesus,’ that the Father Himself is glorified. This indicates our glory-giving capacity to bear the glory of God in our beings, body, and soul. What a gift, and what a plan, that God should give each of us such a great capacity. Let us thank God and ask Him to draw closer to us now through our decision to receive Him in the Eucharist in His son Jesus.

[Readings: Acts 17:15, 22—18:1; Jn 16:12-15]

Matthew Kelly

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