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 give “completely,” or to give “through and through.”) – In other words, the two things I need most: A release from whatever was/is “wrong,” and a capacity to change, making it “right.”


Are these extravagant promises? Yes. For any human power, they are. But my God is a God backing up His promises with His own “power,” the gift of the Holy Spirit. I can be “clothed” with His power today, not just by reading or hearing about Him, but by opening up to His guidance, love and care, in a daily dependence on Him. Just as He “opened their minds to understand,” it is He Who opens my mind, when I open up to Him. Because He teaches us through experience. “Thy will be done,” I say to Him today, and let Him “clothe” and protect me in ways that I can’t myself.

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