A Gospel according to Matthew 11:20-24
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.”
REFLECTION: "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."
Do we know what is the Spirit of Repentance?
In today's society, where we collectively think that what each one of us wants to do is the right thing, repentance seems like an absurdity.
Repent of what? I don't steal, I don't murder, I pay taxes, I take care of my kids... I mean, why would I need repentance? Didn't Jesus pay for my sins once an for all?
Since I am not a theologian, I won't dive into why we need a spirit of repentance. Instead, I propose an exercise for all us.
At the beginning of each day, make a purpose of doing something good, a supernatural act if possible: smile more, even if we are bothered; not scream at the kids even if they are acting like little uncontrolled imps; not cuss at the person that cut you off in traffic; give up that venti cup of artisan coffee, and instead brew your own, or have your kids teach you how to make dalgona; cut back on streaming tik-toks; read 10-15 minutes of the Bible, or a book that teaches us about our Catholic faith. Do any small act that might help you grow as a person and as a follower of Christ. Perform acts lovingly if it involves interacting with others. Write down what you want to improve, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you follow through.
OK, now, at the end of the day, but not right before bed, maybe before dinner, spend a few minutes reflecting if you were able to achieve this act, this purpose. Write down what made it easy or difficult to do.
Were you able to follow through? Great! try something new tomorrow.
Did you struggle? Write it down, try again tomorrow.
As you grow in this exercise, we might want to try to remove deficiencies and vices in our daily life. To do this, we can choose the virtue opposite to our vice: for self-indulgence, try temperance or moderation. For apathy, try attentiveness. For laziness, try diligence, etc.
This is great exercise to help us know ourselves. It helps if we work with a spiritual advisor or a confessor with this. Slowly, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will start to see where we can improve and how we can serve God better. Identify where we hurt others, ourselves, and God. And change our ways.
Click HERE and join me in this beautiful prayer by St. Augustine to the Holy Spirit, so He can help us on this journey of self-discovery, repentance, and renewal.