"We, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our fathers, have sinned in the Lord's sight and disobeyed Him." —Baruch 1:16-18
Although Jesus was free from sin (Heb 4:15), he began His public ministry by receiving John's baptism of repentance (see Mk 1:4, 9). Jesus' initial and foundational message was: "Repent and believe in the gospel!" (Mk 1:15, our transl) Jesus expected His miracles to lead us to repent. He declared: "It will go ill with you, Chorazin! And just as ill with you, Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in your midst had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have reformed in sackcloth and ashes" (Lk 10:13). Jesus told parables about the heavenly joy which comes from repentance (Lk 15:7, 10). Jesus lived and died calling us to repentance. At the first Christian Pentecost, the Church, on its birthday, got the message of repentance. When Peter was asked: "What are we to do?" (Acts 2:37), he answered: "Repent, and be baptized" (Acts 2:38, our transl).
May we likewise get the basic message of Christ. May we repent, confess our sins, and accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. May we also be ministers of reconciliation and invite others to repent (2 Cor 5:18; see also Mt 7:5). May we share in the joy of heaven over one sinner who repents (Lk 15:7). May the blood Jesus shed and the death Jesus died to free us from our sins not be in vain. Let us be a people of repentance, salvation, freedom, reconciliation, joy, and love.
Prayer: Father, baptize me, immerse me in repentance.
Promise: "He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects Me. And He who rejects Me, rejects Him Who sent Me." —Lk 10:16
Praise: Just hearing a friend mention her desire to receive the Sacrament of Penance was enough to inspire Diane to do the same.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001