Today, the Second Sunday of Advent, we meet John the Baptist.
Note the details in the first sentence of today’s gospel reading:
“John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
The word in the original Greek “metanoia” literally means “change of mind.”
One commentary clarifies that this kind of repentance is not about regret, guilt or shame but implies making a decision to turn around, to face in a new direction.
With our backs to the light, all we can see is our own shadows. When we turn towards the light our shadow and the darkness is behind us and our path forward is illumined
Repentance means not only turning from what is bad, but also from many things that are good, but just not for us at this time, or turning from good things that we have become inordinately attached to and which therefore restrict our ability to be truly free.
You might like to listen to this 30 minute FFF Homily Studio podcast, a reflection on today’s scriptures, at this link. You can sign up at this link to receive these Homily Studio conversations every Monday morning, reflecting on the scriptures of the following Sunday.
Following yesterday’s invitation to initiate a cafe gathering to reflect on faith and life the invitations below have arrived. If you would like to take the initiative send me the name of the cafe and the date and time.
I love this wide view of repent. It opens up from the guilt and repression associated with repentance as i grew up and shows how growth from self reflection and goal setting are part of our tools as Catholics. Thank you.
Thoroughly agree with Martha – hooray that the negative interpretations of repentance no longer hang over our heads, and have been replaced with positives that truly encourage us to become close to Jesus.