It was just a passing comment in an otherwise very long Easter Sunday homily, but it stopped me, and got me thinking.

In talking about the meaning of the day, the priest added no matter how bad we think we are, we can always recover. We can always change. Nothing is permanent.

There's the story of the tax collector in the Bible. Gosh, they were reviled even back then. And of Mary Magdalene — she of wayward ways, shall we say.

And of Janet Jackson (search). No, Janet wasn't in the Bible. But she was on "Saturday Night Live." And she proved something I don't think the priest intended but proved it nonetheless: No matter how bad your personal PR, you can change it.

Janet took a step in that direction, turning around the fiasco of her breast-baring Super Bowl appearance into a genuinely fun bit, actually several bits, on the comedy show. She made fun of herself — a lot.

Now, I'm no PR expert, but Janet did a lot to rehabilitate her image that night. She's not the first and she won't be the last.

Does anyone remember the scowling, sulking, skulking George Foreman from decades back? No, we remember the smiling, laughing grill-selling Foreman from "these" days. Just like few recall the 1980s scandal era version of junk bond king Michael Milken. We look at the cancer-fighting, do-good causing Michael Milken of today.

Remember when they said Richard Nixon couldn't be funny, then he said, "Sock it to me," on “Laugh-In,” and he was very funny. Then tragically he turned very un-funny.

But enough of that, back to this. Back to us. We should all be encouraged :Nothing is so permanent — or so damning — that we can't recover.

Leave it to a well-intentioned priest to remind us of that and Janet Jackson to keep us abreast of that..

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