Communal Repentence

Today’s readings:
Jonah 3:1-10
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32

The reading from Jonah teaches me that a community that repents is saved. It’s important that I be a part of a community. I am not called to live out my spiritual life in isolation. I need other pilgrims who are seeking God. We each reinforce the other’s resolve to repent. Together, we can save each other from God’s wrath. I need to be in a community, but my journey still begins with my own heart.

How do I begin with my heart? God does not want my external sacrifices, but my internal ones. It’s not enough that I give up Netflix for a month, or fast once a week. God isn’t interested in me giving up my attachments if my interior life doesn’t change. I need to acknowledge my gluttony and seek the Holy Spirit to save me. I need to see my selfishness, and pray for the courage to suffer life’s inconveniences, the injustices that may be done to me, and bear patiently the shortcomings of my fellow men. Communal repentance begins with me.

There is something greater than either Solomon or Jonah here. Solomon and Jonah were wise men, prophets. Their warnings had weight — but Jesus’ words are even heavier. His example is even more important. I need to repent and be vigilant. It’s so easy to slip back into the normal rhythms of life. I need to resist that temptation and reach out to God, speak to Him and be close to Him.

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