Beads of Joy 07-13-10
Repentance Has Demands
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Today is a pretty powerful message for us to learn much from. One of the brilliant minds of our time said it best like this: "Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Who was that brilliant mind? Albert Einstein of cause. lol. I'm sure many of you who may have done network marketing or some sort of a business seminar may have heard that quote in the past. Today we will reflect upon Matthew 11:20-24 (Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns), and see how without change, nothing changes. I do believe that was rather brilliantly stated. lol. Ok, enough about my brilliance, nah, just kidding. lol. In today's scripture Jesus uses the words, "Woe to you" several times. That usually means much sorrow for someones ignorance or sin that has caused their destruction, because of their lack of obedience to God. The phrase, "Woe to you" exactly like that appears in the bible about 29 times, depending on your translation. In the twenty-third chapter of Matthew, Jesus used that phrase seven times alone. Jesus really stresses the importance of such a warning to all of us.
In this particular gospel Jesus visited these cities and made these harsh warnings and statements that really got the attention of many. If Jesus were to come to your town, your neighborhood, or even your home; what would He say about that? Hmmm. Sometimes it takes someone else to come right out and just say that. We may have been thinking it, but never really thought it could be true. I think it would be best if we were to consider it already done, and happening in our lives. So that way we act upon it and make the necessary changes in our ways and life that make it pleasing to God. What do we think Jesus might warn us of? See if we already heard the good news and we know about all the incredible miracles Jesus done, and we still do not turn from our sins and we still continue to make no changes in who we are; how is it that we are any better off than Chorazin and Bethsaida? God has visited those cities, the Good News has been shared there. We to have heard the Good News, and we have a personal relationship with God's Son, Jesus Christ. How are we any different?
We must change, real honest to goodness change. This change has nothing to do with any political movement, the change they spoke of were all lies. The change God wants from us, is a change that brings us from sin and into God's arms for repentance. True repentance that changes the very habits that keep leading us down the very same road that keeps us sinning all the time. In fact many of us can relate to the fact that many of us, not all of us; but many of us, keep asking for forgiveness to the same sins, year after year. Why is that? Like Albert Einstein said earlier in this blog, "Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." If we don't change the habits and places and people that seem to be directing us down that path of sin, then that sin will never depart from our lives. Sometimes it is also the sinners fault more often than not. If a sinner enjoys a particular sin, no matter what the gravity of the sin; the chance for real change will never happen, on purpose.
So what do we do about this dilemma some of us fall into? If we are to truly repent then we must stop that which is sinful against God. Saint Ambrose of Milan said it best, "True repentance is to cease from sinning." It's not going to be easy, honestly it's not suppose to be, to some degree. After all the man (Jesus) who paid the price for all our sins, died on a cross an innocent man. Here's a story Fr. Larry Richards shares often, explaining the difficulties in true repentance and why it is that we must STOP the sin, we seem to so easily fall into a relapse of repeating the sin over and over; and sometimes with no knowledge of all the damage we actually cause. "There was a certain person in a town who use to be very nosy and also spread rumors and nasty lies about everyone. One day this person asked a priest about how they can fix all the harm they have caused. The priest said, here's what I want you to do first. Go to the top of our mountain, and at the top of the church tower, open a pillow and let all its feathers fly through the town. Then come down from the tower and collect every single feather. The person looked at the priest and said that that is impossible. How ever could I find and know where all these feathers have gone? The priest looked at that person and said, so to the lies you have spoken, how are you to ever know the damage they may have caused." Place all your trust and confidence in our Lord to help guide you from this. Pray, "Jesus, I trust in You"
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO