_When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.” (Jonah 3:10)*_
To repent is to acknowledge my sinfulness before God, to be truly sorry, and to ask forgiveness from God. Repentance begins from the heart and manifests in physical actions such as fasting, self-denial, or self-humiliation. Like the people of Nineveh, we express sorrow for our sins and repent them by confessing them.
Virtually all the spiritual masters and saints recommend regular confession. If you put off confession for over a week, you become weaker spiritually. Never be too ashamed to confess your sin. The more you hide it, the more the devil makes you believe it is okay.
You might ask: “Why can’t I sit in my room and beg for God’s forgiveness?” If we want to deal with sin, we must be willing to talk about it to others. The people of Nineveh did not sit in their rooms to ask for God’s forgiveness. They publicly humiliated themselves and proclaimed a fast from the greatest to the least.
“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them, and he did not do it.” (Jonah 3:10). Repentance moves God. Just as God changed His mind towards the Ninevites, repentance from sin saves us from the calamities our sins attract.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is at the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha is distracted with all the serving while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. Martha complains to Jesus about Mary for not helping out with the serving, but surprisingly, Jesus says: “Mary has chosen the better part, and it shall not be taken away from her.”
What is this “better part”? It is paying attention to the Word of God daily. Let us endeavour to carve out time to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him by reading the Bible daily. We might be busy working for Jesus, but let us not get too busy to forget to pray (spend time in adoration, meditation or personal bible study). In other words, do not allow your work to become a distraction from what is most important.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give me the grace of true repentance and contrition for my sins and in my busyness for you, may I not miss heaven at last. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Jonah 3:1-10, Ps. 130:1-4,7-8, Luke 10:38-42).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu