Friday, February 3, 2012

Mark 1:15

Repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mk 1:15)


In the primitive Church Lent was a precious time dedicated to the “catechumenate”, that is to the preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Also for us who have already received the gift of the Christian life, Lent is a precious moment to reflect on the received gift, not only to “feel” part of the baptized people, but especially to “live” as baptized people.

This is what it means to “repent”, to overturn our hearts, that is, to go to God with a “new heart”. Conversion is not just about a pagan who embraces the faith in Christ the Savior, but every Christian, in fact the more one is holy, feels even more the need to go to God with the “heart renewed”. To this we are invited in the walk of forty days, helped by the gift of the word of God, because it becomes life of our life, similar to how bread that we eat becomes our flesh.

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An Experience of Life:


I committed a big error. I knew that John had died in a sad shameful way: after a night out in drunkenness with prostitutes. He was rich, he had a wife and children, but he also had some really bad habits.

Today will be held the funeral. They called me to bless the body. I said that I would not go. Because of the life that he lived up to the last moment – I replied – he did not deserve the blessing of the Church. I felt I had to defend justice, to give a good example to the people, to do, you might say, my duty.

I was left alone; I did not have peace. I asked myself what would Jesus have done in my place and I was ashamed of myself. In this moment of sorrow, while the wife and the children are crying because there is no longer Dad because he left in that way, I, who could bring a little relief, I condemned a dead man! I know this man from the outside; only God knows him from the inside. I am not his judge, but Jesus Who for him poured out His Blood! That night I was not able to sleep.

The next day I went to find the widow and the children. I asked for their pardon and we made a date for the funeral Mass. The fact became known to the people: the priest went to ask pardon! Perhaps this gesture evangelized more than all of my homilies!

Father E. P. (Italy)

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