Sunday, February 28, 2016

Repent or perish

Moses repented when he answered the call of God.
In the First Reading today, we see God calling Moses from a burning bush to save his people. Now, Moses was in the land of Midian and on Mount Horeb because he was a fugitive of Egypt. Years ago, he killed an Egyptian worker who was abusing an Israelite slave.
Yet Moses answered the call of God to return to Egypt and to save his people. He could have stayed in Midian and lived a peaceful life. But he chose to obey God and to return to the place of bondage that is Egypt. He was still afraid for his life, but he still followed God and his conscience.


The Israelites did not repent, so they perished in the desert.
In the Second Reading today, Paul talks about how God blessed the Israelites who fled Egypt into the Promised Land. God let them pass the Red Sea, gave them manna and quails in the desert, and provided water to them from rocks.
However, the Israelites did not have faith in God. When the twelve tribes sent representatives to see the Promised Land, they saw that the place had giants so they did not want to go there. Only two of them, namely Caleb and Joshua, had faith that God will deliver Canaan to Israel. Most of the people did not have faith, so God let them stay for 40 years in the desert. Only a few, like Caleb and Joshua, lived long enough to see the Promised Land.


Jesus calls for us to repent. Otherwise, we shall perish.
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells people that the manner of death does not mean that one is guilty of great sin. Jesus explains that the Galileans who died by Pilate’s hand and the people who were killed when the tower fell were not greater sinners simply because they died a gruesome death. Maybe those were accidents. But we must repent or we will face the same kind of death.
Jesus then tells the parable of the fig tree. A man has a fig tree and wants to cut it down because it bears no fruit. But the gardener tells him that he will cultivate the soil and fertilize the tree to give it a chance to bear fruit. If after a year, the fig tree still does not bear fruit, then it may be cut down.


Why must I repent when I live a good life?
If you believe that everything in your life is good, and there is no need to repent, kindly give me your name and contact information, so we can find ways to nominate you for your sainthood. Otherwise, there may be some ways or several instances in our lives that we need to repent.
God always gives us a chance to repent or to change our ways for the better. If we do not change or improve, we can become stagnant and stuck to our old selves. If we do not become better, there will be no growth in our lives, as though we are dead.


Why should I repent when we will all die?
Everyone dies, but not everyone will perish. In fact, some people may feel dead even before they actually die. They may feel depressed, angry, or fearful. As Christians, we are called to love and care for one another. We forgive another if they have wronged us, and help each other walk on the path of love, truth, and life.


Do I need to repent when I have time?
We do not know when we will die, so we need to be ready to face our death and meet God every day of our lives. My father was a healthy man who jogs and bikes everyday. But he passed away suddenly in a vehicular accident last year.
We do not know what will happen in the future. But we can act now, repent of our sins, and live the Gospel.

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