Wednesday, February 6, 2019
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. – Mark 1:1-5
I have heard them for years, those Christians voices who declare that “unless a nation humbles itself and repents that nation will not be blessed by God.” Yes, I have heard this warning now for a number of decades and I have observed a most curious and tragic thing … it seems always directed toward other people and their sins and very seldom at themselves and their sins.
John the Baptizer lived in a similar time as ourselves. And so he came preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And crowds came and answered his call to repent. But as best I can see … the chief priests, the Bible scribes, the Pharisees, the Temple leadership … they were not counted among those who repented.
Confession/repentance is not what other people need to do, rather confession and repentance is always what “I” need to do. Confession is the voluntary revealing of one’s inner self and its needs; repentance is the changing the direction of one’s life from the direction it was taking. I find confession is rarer in these times, that is unless one is exposed for their past sins. I find repentance is rarer in these time, I observe not much changing of life, especially among those who are quick to point out the sins of others. I believe it is the fear of exposure, the fear of humility, the fear of being found to be in need. Again, confession and repentance is not what those other people need to do, rather confession and repentance is always what “I” need to do, whoever that “I” might be.
Loved Ones, we too quickly and vehemently boast that we are the righteous ones and those others need to change their attitudes and ways. We need to be a people who understand the wisdom of humility. We need to be a people who understand that we all must take that journey to the river. We need to be a people who accepts the fact that we all need to change our ways.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz