Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns
A Protestant minister was once speaking to a group of children. In opening his talk he asked this question: “What is meant by the word repentance?” A little boy raised his hand. “Well,” the minister said, “what is it, my lad?” “Being sorry for your sins,” was the answer.
A little girl on the back seat raised her hand. “Well, my little girl, what do you think?” “I think,” said the child, “it’s being sorry enough to quit.”
It is very hard for people to admit that they are wrong. They insist to be right in their wrongness. just like in today’s gospel, Jesus is upset with Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because these three communities had been blessed with the visitation of God. They received more in terms of divine grace like: preaching and miracles of Jesus. And yet they did not bear fruit as a result of the grace they had received. They did not change. They refused to reform. They refused to repent. Jesus predicts that they will be judged more severely than Tyre and Sidon because if Tyre and Sidon (the pagan cities that did not claim to believe in Yahweh) have received such grace, He said: “they would long ago have repented,” (v. 13). And in spite of His warning, they did not listen.
To repent means to turn and return. In the New Testament repentance means to turn from sin. .”We were called by God to turn from sin. In fact, all men/women everywhere are commanded by God to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). Actually there are two prerequisites of repentance. These are: “to turn away from evil and to turn to the good. Theologically, it is the idea of returning to God and turning away from evil.
What are the things that we should repent for? I got these from Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD in one of his books. Some of the things that we should repent are the following and I add something:
1) Denial of our sins: rationalizations, alibis, reasons to evade responsibility, postponement, putting off what must we faced now. In relation to this idea, I read this story of a priest and one of his elderly parishioners. They were walking home from church one frosty day when the old gentleman slipped and fell flat on his back. The minister looked at him for a moment and being assured that he was not hurt, said: “Friend, sinners stand on slippery places.” The old gentleman looked up at him and said: “I see they do, but I can’t.”
2) “Frozen delights.” These are beautiful women who are not married. Some of us are: beautiful on the outside but cold, empty, lifeless, loveless, bitter and angry deep inside.
3) Making life complicated. As you go through life don’t forget to KISS (Keep It Simple and Stupid). Don’t complicate your life, lifestyle and relationships. Simple is beautiful, right? Make your life simple and peaceful by keeping this attitude in mind: a.) gratitude for the past – be grateful for everything and everyone, good or bad in your past, b.) trust in the future – learn to surrender all your plans and worries to the Father, c. Love in the present – do your best now and you will have no regrets about the past and no worries about the future.
4) For not loving enough. The reason for existence and for doing, without love we are empty and nothing.
Let us repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt. 3:2).
At the end let us reflect these words coming from Josh Billings. He said: “It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those we intend to commit.”
OPTION 01, 02, 03,