Sept. 13, 2017: St. John Chrysostom
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
"You must put that aside now…put aside your old self with its past deeds and put on a new man, one who grows in knowledge as he is formed anew in the image of his Creator." Colossians 3:8, 9-10
Today's Eucharistic readings address two opposite ways of life. St. Paul calls these two ways the "old self" and the "new self" (see Col 3:9-10). The old self is our life without Jesus, ruled by the world, the flesh, and the devil (see 1 Jn 2:16). This old self lives a lifestyle characterized by anger, malice, insults, lying, evil desires, lust (Col 3:5, 8-9), the desires for pleasure and the things of this world (Lk 6:24-26). The new self is shaped entirely by allowing Jesus to form our actions, thoughts, words, and lifestyle. When we live in the new self, we are set free from sin and set free for service, worship, and evangelization.
Those who live according to the new self are blessed; those who live under the old self have nothing to anticipate but woes (see Lk 6:20-26). In Baptism, our old self died with Christ, drowned in the waters of Baptism. Yet our lives after Baptism sometimes seem like a civil war (see Jas 4:1). We want to live a good and holy life for the Lord, yet we sin (see Rm 7:7-25).
The key is to daily live our Baptism. Each time you bless yourselves with holy water, that is, the water of Baptism, renew your baptismal vows. Tell yourself: "I am a baptized child of Almighty God! Lord Jesus, drown my old self with You in this holy water. Help me put on the pure, victorious garments of my new self that lives in You. May I live the new life of blessings and not the old life of woes."