Thursday, March 10, 2011

Only the pentitent man shall pass

What does the penitent man do to pass? Answer correctly... or a floor blade will have you in two. LOL!

I've been contemplating the words “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) since my previous entry. I see a purposeful juxtaposition with "repent and believe" just like "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). What kind of belief was St. John the Baptist speaking about? Theories and best guesses? A collection of facts and judgments? Highly esteemed intellectual thought? No, I think something deeper. Somehow, somewhere, deep down in the soul, believing needs to turn into action for it to be authenticated (see Matthew 7:21-27). The words "belief" and "faith" are easily interchangeable in modern English, but Christianity historically defines "faith" as a grace (i.e., a supernatural gift) to give one's assent to God according to Christ. So Christian faith, strictly speaking, is not the sum of anyone's mental acuity but a turning of one's heart over to God like a son/daughters trusting a father.

This Lenten season, I will be asking myself, what good is believing without repentance: "Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you" (Luke 6:46)? Not only do I want to be a Christian who keeps on believing, but one who also keeps a penance. Only the penitent man shall enter the Kingdom of God.