"When you are going with your opponent to appear before a magistrate, try to settle with him on the way." —Luke 12:58
If we can know the time when it will rain or get hot, we can know the time to settle with our opponent (Lk 12:54-58). The verses which immediately follow this passage indicate that we settle with our opponent by repenting of not bearing fruit, that is, of not leading people to Jesus (Lk 13:3, 5, 6). We either repent of not leading people to Christ or be handed over to the judge and the jailer where we will come to a tragic end (see Lk 13:5).
Nevertheless, most people who hear that they must repent of not bearing fruit still don't do it. They have the desire to do this but not the power (Rm 7:18). This condition of powerlessness is normal for an unbaptized person, but why would baptized people be powerless to repent and lead others to Christ? We must have sinned and thereby refused to live our Baptisms. Therefore, we must first repent of not living out our Baptisms. Then we must renew our baptismal promises, and thereby we will have the power to repent of other things, such as not leading others to Christ. We will lead people to Christ, settle with our opponent, and be freed from a tragic end.
When a tree doesn't bear fruit, we shouldn't examine branches but roots. If we're not leading people to Christ, we don't need a seminar on evangelization techniques. We need renewal of our Baptism, the root of our lives in Christ. That's why the Church calls all Catholics to renew their baptismal promises at all the Masses of Easter Vigil and Sunday. Renew, repent, and revive.
Prayer: Father, may I settle things by renewing my baptismal promises.
Promise: "What a wretched man I am! Who can free me from this body under the power of death? All praise to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" —Rm 7:24-25
Praise: Sondra teaches her students to rejoice in the amazing power given to them at Baptism.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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