Is 40:1-5,9-11; 2Pt 3:8-14; Mk 1:1-8
In a court situation, a person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty.
Our God is also like this. He presumed us innocent and not guilty yet because He still gives us a time and an opportunity for repentance. He allows us to change our old attitudes and change them with new attitudes, to repent and to sort out our lives, to reassess our values and change our ways of living until the end of time so that when His Son will come, we are ready.
The message of today’s gospel is repentance. St. Mark said that John the Baptist came and taught about repentance for the forgiveness of sins (v.4).
This repentance is no simple and ordinary. When I heard this word, what entered into my mind was, sorrow of sins and contrition by saying, “I’m sorry, Lord”. The PREX people are fond of using these words. Is this enough? This is not enough in the sense that the word implies more than sorrow of sins but a change of heart which Jesus Christ is asking from us in order to belong to His Kingdom. We have to recognize that we are sinners before God, to be sorrow for our sins, to turn towards God and to turn away from whatever is offensive to God. We have to act and think and act in accordance with God’s will.
This repentance is from Greek word Metanoia which means a total change of heart. True repentance is not a matter of doing or not doing certain things, but a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. For example, if we are selfish, starts to be generous and many more.
This change of heart will lead us to convert and change the society. If everybody is truly converted – police brutalities, military abuses, graft and corruption in the government, killings, kidnappings, drug addiction and others will be eliminated. What a beautiful society will be if everybody is changed.
What are those things that we should repent?
First, denial of sins. I ask an apology from women if I will mention as an example this make-up. Anyway, there are some men who are using this also. Why we put make-up on our face? Because, maybe, we don’t want our wrinkles and pimples to be seen, or we want to look beautiful. Sin is like a make-up. If we have committed any sin, we want to hide it as much as possible – denial to death. If possible nobody would know. There are so many things whose names are changed into something in order to hide them. For example, instead of calling it as adultery, we call it as, ”I have an affair with someone”; instead of calling her as prostitute, we call her as GRO (Guest Relation Officer); instead of calling it as fornication, we call it as live-in or trial marriage and many more. If we do this, then we do not deceive God but we deceive ourselves because God in the first place knew it. The best that we can do is to accept the sin that we had committed.
Second, forbidden act. We do so many forbidden acts and we are enjoying doing them. The best thing that we can do is, stop it! Third, being selfish. Let us go out from our small world whose only ‘bida’ is ‘ako’, ‘ako pa rin’.
Fourth, being closed-minded. Many of us don’t want to open themselves to new expressions of evangelization employ by the church today. The best thing that we can do is, to open our minds and hearts as we follow the spirit of Vatican II which is reading the signs of the times through the gospel values of Jesus Christ. Fifth, our negative emotions that affect so much of ourselves. These should be changed into lovely emotions.
So, let us ask ourselves these questions, do we start repenting? If not, then when? What are those things that we had done that need to be repented?
For our reflection, an excerpt from the pastoral letter of the Carribean bishops: “Only the heart of a converted person will make possible a free and just society, a better world, a God’s kingdom here on earth.”
See Today’s Readings: Cycle B,
Back to: Second Sunday of Advent (Year B)