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Friday, March 18, 2011

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-5, 7-8
Matthew 5:20-26

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repent now!

"Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?" —Ezekiel 18:23

The Lord promises He will remember against us none of the sins we have committed if we repent (Ez 18:22). He also promises He will remember none of our virtuous deeds if we break faith with Him (Ez 18:24). Thus, the Lord is always forgetting about something that we've done. Whether or not we repent determines whether He forgets our sins or our virtuous deeds.

Repentance is so important that there's more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who have no need to repent (Lk 15:7). Repentance gives us the benefit of Jesus' saving death on Calvary. Refusing to repent causes His death to be in vain for us (see 1 Cor 1:17). Repentance can change our future from everlasting hell to eternal happiness. Repentance is an act of love for God by which we enter into having a life of love for Him. Repentance opens the door for the Lord to turn even the worst things to the good for those who love Him (Rm 8:28). Repentance usually gives us immediate freedom and peace. It is a prerequisite for receiving a new Pentecost (Acts 2:38) and for building God's kingdom (see Mk 1:15).

Repentance is a grace, privilege, and calling. It is a matter of justice, which opens for us the gates of God's mercy. Repentance is the reason for Lent and life. Repent now!

Prayer:  Father, may I take the plank out of my own eye and then remove the specks from others' eyes (Mt 7:5).

Promise:  "Go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Lose no time." —Mt 5:24-25

Praise:  St. Cyril was treated unjustly and forced into exile, yet continued to tell heretics to repent and return to the Truth, to Jesus, true God and true Man.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Reconciliation on audio AV 1A-1 or video V-1A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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