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Sunday, January 26, 1997

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

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a new beginning

"This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!" —Mark 1:15

The Lord doesn't want us to go on with this new year without repenting, that is, reforming our lives. When we hear the Lord's call to repentance, we agree that many people need to hear that call. However, the Lord is saying that each of us needs to repent — to remove the plank from our eyes before trying to remove the splinters from the eyes of others (Mt 7:5).

Even if we admit our own need to repent, we probably don't think we have to do so immediately. However, the Lord says: "The time is short" (1 Cor 7:29). We may be like the Ninevites: either we repent within forty days (or forty minutes) or be destroyed (Jon 3:4). "Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day; for suddenly His wrath flames forth" (Sir 5:8-9). "Delay not to forsake sins, neglect it not till you are in distress" (Sir 18:21). "Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2)

So each one of us should repent right now and go to Confession as soon as possible. If we don't know what to confess, or even if we think we do, we should ask the Holy Spirit to help us (see Jn 16:8). We may be blinded by sin to sin. Begin this year freed from sin.

Prayer:  Father, give me a fresh start, another chance, and true freedom.

Promise:  "The world as we know it is passing away." —1 Cor 7:31

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is risen! He will raise us from the dead if we believe in Him (Jn 11:26). Alleluia!

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996