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Saturday, August 1, 2020

     “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.’” (Mt 21: 28-32)

     How is it that the tax collectors and harlots “went to work” in the Lord’s “vineyard,” after believing J...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

     “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight—” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Mk 1: 1-5)

     Still today, we are called to make a “confession of sins,” and to be “immersed” (i.e., “baptized”) in “repentance” (a change of mind or change of focus), whenever we “prepare the way of the Lord” and “make His paths straight” in o...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

     “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight—” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Mk 1: 1-5)

     Still today, we are called to make a “confession of sins,” and to be “immersed” (i.e., “baptized”) in “repentance” (a change of mind or change of focus), whenever we “prepare the way of the Lord” and “make His paths straight”...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

     “Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.’” (Mt 11: 20-24)

     In our Church’s reading for today, the Lord reminds me of the great opportunity we are g...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. And the scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well (οἱ ἰσχύοντες) have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες); I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (εἰς μετάνοιαν).” (Mk 2: 14-17)

So Levi, one of the “sinners” in this picture, was called to “repentance” (“metanoia,” a ch...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

He (John the Baptist) said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath/anger to come (ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς)? Bear fruits that befit repentance…’” (Lk 3: 7-8a)

Today, on Meatfare Sunday, when we commemorate The Last Judgment, I’m thinking about St. John the Baptist’s approach to “the wrath/anger to come.” He’s asking, Who told you to “flee” from it? You can’t do that, because you can’t flee from your own selves, and from the “wrath” or “anger” you carry and multiply within yourselves, as a “brood of vipers.” What you can do is make a change, in “repentance” (a change of mind), and turn away from self-centered anger and fear, embracing God-centered love and faith instead. Similarly, our Lord in His parable of...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance (μετάνοιαν) and forgiveness of sins (ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν) is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you the promise of my Father; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’” (Lk 24: 45-49)

They are to proclaim two vital things, in His name: 1. “Repentance” (a change of mind or change of focus); and 2. “Forgiveness” (ἄφεσις, a “letting go,” or “setting free from”) of sins. (The English word “for-give,” similar to the Vulgar Latin “per-donare” and German “ver-geben,” means to giv...

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