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Saturday, March 12, 2011

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Isaiah 58:9-14
Psalm 86:1-6
Luke 5:27-32

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repentance according to whom?

"Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became His follower." —Luke 5:28

Ever since Ash Wednesday, the Church has intensified its calls for us to repent. Today, it gives us an example of repentance in Levi (also named Matthew), the former tax-collector and the writer of the first book in the New Testament. When we think of repentance, we may be considering slight modifications of our behavior. However, when Jesus and His body, the Church, call us to repentance, they expect us to make radical changes, a "metanoia," a 180-degree turn, an about-face. Levi is a good example of what the Lord means by repentance.

We need Levi's example because sin blinds us to sin or at least partially blinds us to the severity of our sins (see 1 Jn 2:11; 2 Cor 4:4). We don't think we need to change that much because we're blind to how far away we are from God's will. Moreover, we're surrounded by people who feel the same way. If we really repented, we'd be considered fanatical rather than truly repentant, at least in the eyes of the spiritually blind. We need the example of Levi. He is not unusual in how extensively he needed to repent. Most of us probably need just as dramatic a repentance. However, Levi's repentance is unusual in that he was freed from spiritual blindness and then saw how his life needed to be radically changed.

Repent by God's standards, not by the standards of the spiritually blind.

Prayer:  Father, open my eyes to see at least the top two layers of my sins.

Promise:  "The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; 'Repairer of the breach,' they shall call you, 'Restorer of ruined homesteads.' " —Is 58:12

Praise:  It was during Lent that God opened Monica's eyes to her bad habit of gossiping.

Reference:  (Check out our website for information about our retreat center: www.presentationministries.com. Come make a silent retreat.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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