JESUS BEGAN TO REPROACH THE TOWNS WHERE MOST OF HIS MIGHTY DEEDS HAD BEEN DONE, SINCE THEY HAD NOT REPENTED. MT 11:20-24
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:
Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” MT 11:20-24
Repent is contrition which means: ”a sorrow of soul and a hatred of sin committed, with a firm purpose of not sinning in the future”. This sorrow of soul is not merely speculative sorrow for wrong done, remorse of conscience, or a resolve to amend; it is a real pain and bitterness of soul together with a hatred and horror for sin committed; and this hatred for sin leads to the resolve to sin no more. The early Christian writers in speaking of the nature of contrition sometimes insist on the feeling of sorrow, sometimes on the detestation of the wrong committed (Augustine in P.L., XXXVII, 1901, 1902; Chrysostom, P.G., XLVII, 409, 410).
In God’s beautiful mercy on us through His Son Jesus Christ, when we humbly come before the Lord in confession and make a good examination of conscience, we can begin to come to grips with our sin. Contrition or repentance has to do with change so it is very difficult. All of us have our favorite sins, but God’s grace is always more powerful than sin due to Jesus dying on the cross and overcoming sin and death.
Sin can be so frustrating, but when we learn about what Christ went through for us, develop a daily relationship with Him, and bring ourselves to His grace in the sacraments it is easier to start to reform our lives. It is a matter of believing in our heart and changing the way we think (metanoia-Greek for repent).
Belief and conversion begin in the heart, then it becomes a battle in your mind. Instilling good habits in our lives and denying ourselves instantly when sinful thoughts enter our mind throughout the day, with God’s grace, we can begin to create a good habit or virtue. We will start to desire holiness above all else.
Sometimes we think it would be easier if Jesus was here and we could see His miracles and healings, but today we see Jesus frustrated with the people for not changing their hearts after He had worked His miracles and preached the Good News to them. Don’t forget Jesus is with us in the Eucharist, in our heart, in our prayer, in the Adoration chapel, and in the people He put around us. He is here working among us right now. We must allow Him to transform us.
It starts with Baptism, and continues through the Eucharist, confession, and Confirmation. It continues by praying each day asking the Holy Spirit to bring us into the presence of God and sighing a peaceful sigh. This then leads us to service for others. There will be daily crosses to carry, pain, and suffering, but the rewards are eternal.
Today’s challenge: Do a good examination of conscience. Find the root of the sin that you are struggling with. Sin is saying I don’t care Jesus. Period. We can rationalize all we want, but sin is sin. Wrestle with God while meditating on why we sin. This is the battlefield of love. This is where we learn to let God’s grace transform us. This is where we learn the greatest love sacrificial love, agape. The love the Father has for His children.
Go to confession, repent, and with God’s grace begin to overcome sin in your life. Sin is a slippery slope into the darkness, Jesus died so that you could live in the light. ”Do not be afraid,” and never give up! God’s love and mercy are more powerful than anything in the world! God’s grace restores what sin has damaged. Bring yourself to His grace and begin the battle! It’s what you were made for.
Be a servant, become a saint!