the year of joyful repentance
"Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away!" —Acts 3:19
In this Easter octave during this year of the Great Jubilee, the Lord calls us even more insistently: "Reform your lives! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away! Thus may a season of refreshment be granted you by the Lord" (Acts 3:19-20). "Anyone who does not listen" to Jesus "shall be ruthlessly cut off from the people" (Acts 3:23). Jesus has been raised up and sent to us in order to turn us from our evil ways (Acts 3:26).
Easter is fifty days of joy because it is fifty days of repentance. There is "more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15:7). On the evening of the day of His resurrection, Jesus said to His apostles: "If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound" (Jn 20:23). Death entered the world through sin (see Rm 5:17). Hence, our resurrection-victory over death is claimed through repentance. Therefore, we who are witnesses for the risen Christ must preach "to all the nations repentance and the forgiveness of sins" (Lk 24:47, our transl).
Many Catholics go to Confession each Lent. However, Confession is not only a Lenten sacrament but also an Easter sacrament. Go to Confession at least twice during this Easter season, and make this year your Great Jubilee.
Prayer: Father, may I change the world by letting You change me.
Promise: "Then He opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures." —Lk 24:45
Praise: Jesus is risen! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24). Alleluia!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999