“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” —Matthew 4:17
Jesus began His public ministry by preaching a message of repentance for the sake of entering into the kingdom of God. As basic as this message is, it must always sink deeply into our hearts, as if we are hearing it for the first time.
What does “repent” mean? Certainly it means to confess our sins to the Lord and make a good Confession in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Repentance also involves a turning away from all that leads us away from the Lord, as well as a turning toward God. Repentance means a change in lifestyle — in thought, word, and in action.
What does “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” mean? (Mt 4:17) It means that the Lord is King (Ps 97:1). No longer can we live by the standards of this world. We are subjects of the King of kings (Rv 19:16). We transfer our allegiance from the world and its ways to the Lord and His ways. What are His ways, you might ask? Spend the rest of this new year, 2021, encountering King Jesus and learning His ways by reading the Bible each day and by studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church. By doing this and heeding what you have read, you will have entered into the Kingdom of God. Repent! Live a lifestyle fit for the King.
Prayer: Father, help me to “turn ten times the more to seek you” in this new year (Bar 4:28). I love You with all my heart.
Promise: “This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God.” —1 Jn 4:2
Praise: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a woman of “firsts.” She established the first American women’s religious community, the Sisters of Charity, the first American parish school, and the first American Catholic orphanage. She did this while raising her five children.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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