“The First Disciples are Chosen”
©2014 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Now looking at today's scripture, verse 17 says, "From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." I just love seeing our Lord's words. This verse immediately brings another verse to mind, and it goes like this, "“Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” that's Mark 10:17. Even though the answer in Mark's gospel isn't directly the word for word answer of that of Matthew's gospel. The gist of the answer is with those words. Repent, it's all in that word. If like in Mark, Jesus said, "One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The repentance must have been in this rich man's attitude and devotion to his wealth. So in selling all he had, and giving it to the poor, he was basically repenting and refocusing his life and his love and his attention to others and to Jesus, and away from himself. I hope this is making sense. Real true life repentance does change lives, and it has a wonderful rippling effect into the lives of those around us. We all need repentance, either weekly, or monthly. Whatever you feel the Lord is leading you to. I know the church says, confession once a year, Fr. Larry Richards says, "Confession once a month is good for the soul." I can't help but to agree with that simple thought. Here's what's in The Catechism of The Catholic Church:
1457 "According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time."
1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship." Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation." Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God."
Spending study and reading time in the Catechism is also another way I find to be very fulfilling in my spiritual walk; in that is really brings me closer to my Lord, His teachings and our faith. Just in today's reflection really honestly take the time to look through this link at only focuses on The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. This small fraction of the catechism is so exciting and you learn so much, the scriptural references are refreshing and awesome to actually take the time to do as you read. You will be and you easily can be consumed by the excitement of all this once you get started. I know I do all the time.
Catechism of The Catholic Church: Part 2-Section 2-Chapter 2-Article 4
Through repentance God changes the way we think. It's really transforming to our lives that not only are in His words that help us to change, but also in our admittance to our own sins. Simply allow God to work His will in your life, in a way that will ultimately change your life and the lives of those around you. I like that John the Baptist and Jesus say to us, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." And in saying that I am pointing and directing you to Jesus, know that this is all about Him, always. The Holy Spirit will leads us, as our Lady leads us, so place all of your trust in Him, and focus all of your energy and time to His will as best you can. The more you spend time in the scripture, and the more you spend time thinking about Jesus' very words, the more easily you will find yourself loving Him even more. And then the more you love Him, all the more you will be spending even more time with Him. To me 24/7/365 still isn't enough. I will be praying for all of you to find Jesus in your life through your repentance and reconciliation with Him.
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And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS