the year of repentance
"A people living in darkness has seen a great light." —Matthew 4:16
Jesus begins this new year as He begins almost everything else. He proclaims: "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mt 4:17, our transl.)
It's difficult for us to understand Jesus' preoccupation with repentance unless we put ourselves in His place, that is, on the cross. Jesus died on Calvary to take away our sins. He greatly desires that we repent and accept this supreme act of love. Therefore, on the first evening of His resurrection, He commissioned His apostles to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). Before His Ascension, he sent out the apostles and all of us to preach repentance to all the nations (Lk 24:47). At Pentecost, He and the Father even sent God the Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit convicts us of our sins and leads us to repent (Jn 16:8).
Begin the year right. Apply to your sins the blood Jesus shed on Calvary. Repent, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, rejoice! There's great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Lk 15:7).
Prayer: Father, may this be the year of repentance.
Promise: "There is One greater in you than there is in the world." —1 Jn 4:4
Praise: The Holy Name of Jesus means "God saves," which means we need saving. Praise You, Jesus our Savior. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Your most adorable and holy name.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010
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