Week of December 4, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
These are the words of St. John the Baptist from the Gospel of Matthew this weekend. John the Baptist is often called the precursor to Jesus; he came to prepare the way for The Christ. John preparing the way for Jesus is similar to how Advent helps prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas.
John the Baptist tells us to repent – to change our hearts and minds. The Greek word used for repent is metanoia – this word literally means change of mind, but the word gives us a much deeper meaning than that. We are not talking about change on a superficial level – like a change of mind about what you want for dinner. We are getting at something much deeper than that.
The word repentance has the understanding of sorrow attached to it as well. But it is more than that. It is sorrow with the intention to change our ways – and to change the way we live. It’s like when we go to confession – we confess our sins, we are sorry for our sins, but we also make a firm purpose of amendment to try and change our ways, even to change our lives. This is not always easy, it takes effort and discipline. It takes working with God’s grace. We might fall along the way, but there should be something driving us on to change at a core level to overcome sin in our lives. We want our repentance to be meaningful.
Advent is a great time to go deep in our heart and think about repentance. What that means for us – what we need to be sorry about and how that sorrow can help lead us to meaningful change in our lives.
Just a little note as we continue to move into the Advent Season. This week on Thursday, December 8th we have a Holy Day of obligation – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will be having a Vigil Mass at 7:00pm on Wednesday, December 7th and then 8:00am and 12:15pm Masses on Thursday, December 8th. Please make sure to come to Mass and honor Our Blessed Mother as we continue to prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus at Christmas.