Dear Parish Family,
….So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
When Christ sent the Twelve out to preach repentance, He knew that not all would listen. He knew that some — perhaps many — would reject His messengers and their message. Repentance is rarely a popular message to bring.
Sure, it’s popular enough when the message is, “repent and behave like that guy over there” if you happen to be that guy and you’re over there.
Sure, it’s popular enough when the message is, “repent and behave like that guy over there” if you happen to be that guy and you’re over there. However, when the message is: stop what you’re doing and change… well, the message suddenly becomes much less popular. Who are you to tell ME what to do?!
How different the world would be if our need to be right was tempered by humility and the realization that we are sometimes wrong… sometimes we are in need of not just repentance but of being called to repentance. It is one thing for us to realize personally that we need to change; it is quite another to accept (much less welcome) being told that is the case.
Let us all pray for the grace of humility and wisdom, so that when we are confronted with our own failings and our own need for repentance, we can welcome that message in the spirit that it is intended: as coming from God and meant for our eternal happiness. We never know when the messenger might arrive bringing a message we need desperately to hear.