In the Gospel for this Monday after Epiphany (readings are here.) we hear this:
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I don’t know about you, but for a large portion of my life, I associated repentance with all sorts of things like wearing the hairshirt or other practices of self-denial. Later I came to understand that repentance is more about understanding behavior and making a commitment to change. In the case of Jesus, we are transformed by his life if we follow him – at least we hope so – and thus we are changed. Our commitment to Christ is our commitment to a life of transformation and change.
This makes me think about how even as a church going Catholic, for many years I would have rolled my eye at the thought of “repenting.” Today, it is what I hope and pray for each day – all without the hairshirt!
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