As John the Baptizer preached in first century, Roman-occupied Palestine, his message was clear and urgent: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2). Recall from my column in last Sunday’s bulletin that the Greek work we translate as “repent” was metanoia which means reform your life, have a complete transformation of your heart. The urgency for John was the coming of the Messiah — the Christ, the Anointed One.
If we believe that Christ has come and has graced us with salvation in his Passion, Death and Resurrection, there remains an urgency to live as he has taught. Since we know not the day nor the hour of his Final Coming (just as we do not know the time of our own death), the urgency always remains for each of us to repent, confess our sins and receive the mercy of God.
This Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. our parish will come together for the Advent Penance Service. There will be ten priests available to hear confessions and grant you sacramental absolution. No matter how great your sins may be, the mercy of God is even greater! As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners” (§ 1846). Join together this Tuesday as we not only cry out to God for his mercy to all, but also experience that mercy in the forgiveness of sins.