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We are called repentance


Praying man at the altar. Image source erikbrewer

Praying man at the altar. Image source erikbrewer

AT this season of lent, we are called to repentance. God calls each and every one of us to repent from our sins and draw near to Him.  We are called to change our ways. Change is very difficult for most humans to accept. But we must change, whether we like it or not. Indeed, we change every second. We can never remain the same. But we have a choice to change for either good or bad. If you have been languishing in a particular sin for too long, you can decide to say enough is enough.

In several portions of the Bible, God calls His people to repent of their sins and return to Him. In the book of Ezekiel 18:30, we hear God calling out through the prophet saying: “Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall.”

The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God’s law (1 John 3:4). It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. Sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve. It brought with it total alienation of man from God. But because of His love for us, God gave us another chance to be reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ. During his earthly journey, Jesus was always hammering on repentance. He said that he had come to set the captive free. Who are the captives? All that continues to wallow in sin.  When we continue to commit sin, we drive the spirit of God away from our heart. And when the Holy Spirit departs from you, you will become empty and vulnerable to all forms of attacks by the enemy.

The reason it is important that we all repent is that we do not know the time or the hour when we shall be called. We all see how lives are cut short these days due to acts of terrorism. Some sleep and never wake up. Anything can happen any minute. Why take the risk of staying away from God? You may say in your heart that my sins are too much to be forgiven. You are wrong. God is always ready to take you back, as long as you are truly sorry and are ready to change for the better.  God is very patient. He says in the book of Isaiah: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Just like the toddler that tries to walk, falls and struggles to rises again, we too are expected to rise again when we fall into sin. That is why we are encouraged to go to confession always. The book of Psalm 103:8-12 says: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

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