Saturday, July 22, 2017
Repent! Means Change!
The morning sermon reminded me that the Jewish word for “repent” means “change”. It means don’t say something, “I’m sorry,” but do something.
When a Catholic person goes to Confession, he is required to repent of his sins. He doesn’t just recite his sins to the priest and say “I’m sorry.” No, he must say/make an Act of Contrition. That prayer says “I am heartily sorry for my sins” but also: I firmly resolve to change, “to amend my life.”
John the Baptist preached a Baptism of repentance, sorrow for sins and change. Jesus came to show a Baptism of change: He showed us how to love. There are very few sins (if any) which are not rooted in our doing something for ourselves, self-love. “Change,” as Jesus spoke, said: “Love others,” not yourself. Repentance that Jesus spoke of was to change your focus, from yourself to God, to others. It is a big change to make, one that truly takes a lifetime of effort. And confessions.
Yesterday was Friday. It was the day on which Jesus repented for our sins; He chose a most difficult change. He chose to die for us. We need to choose to die to ourselves, and our selfish actions.
It was a short sermon. To me, it said a lot.