One of the most important themes in this time of Advent is the call to repentance. In the context of The New Testament teachings, the word used to describe repentance is metanoia, which means “changing one’s mind” about someone or something.
In this season of preparation, it is the proper time to change our mind regarding our- selves and regarding Christ. These two acts are linked together, because a deep knowledge of Christ will change us.
Sometimes, we are quick to judge a per- son who is traveling along the wrong path in life, one who is lost. But we are not good in appreci- ating, encouraging and helping those who re- pent.
The more we know the Lord, the more we will know how to receive Him. The more we know His teachings and the example of His life, the more we will know that what we are doing is ei- ther right or wrong. Understanding our wrong- doing can lead us to repentance.
Repentance is more than being sorry for a specific act. To repent is an acceptance of a direction in our lives as wrong, of leaving that path and the determination to persevere along the right way. It a change of direction in life, al- ways toward the One who can save us. Return- ing home and living according to our Father’s commandments is not easy to accomplish, for it requires a sincere understanding that our lives need to change, and a dedication of time and effort to conform our lives to the will of God.
The great thing about repentance is the understanding that we are weak, that we need guidance and forgiveness, which can only be obtained through closeness to God.
These are the questions I now put to you: What do you need to do to change your life to become more like Jesus? What do you need to work on to become worthy to receive the Lord?
As we read in the gospel, sometimes we cannot realize all those things by ourselves; we need a voice that will remind us of the need to repent: A voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’
Preparing the way of the Lord and making straight His paths has no other meaning than this: repentance. We need to repent, because the Reign of God is at hand.
This Monday at 7 PM, we will have our Advent Reconciliation Liturgy. Please take this personal and communal opportunity to prepare the way of the Lord. When we confess our sins, we ex- press our repentance and our willing to change our lives into lives more and more pleasing to God.