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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

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Presentation of Mary

Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22
Psalm 15
Luke 19:1-10

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jesus says: "repent!"

"...heed the Spirit's word to the churches." —Revelation 3:22

In His seven letters to the churches in chapters 2-3 of Revelation, Jesus uses the word "repent" seven times. When's the last time you wrote a letter that mentioned the word "repent" even once, much less seven times? Since Jesus is the same today as He was nineteen hundred years ago (Heb 13:8), He surely wants churches and individuals to make repentance a top priority.

There are 168 hours in a week. It's not uncommon for large parishes to schedule an hour or less weekly for Confession. That's less than one percent of the time in a week devoted to repentance. It's likely that, in the average parish, more time is spent each week emptying the trash than hearing Confessions. If Jesus looked at the weekly allocation of time in our churches, would He conclude that our churches place a higher priority on clean facilities than on clean souls? It's unlikely that He'd be satisfied with any excuse we'd proffer, when He Himself poured out His life to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10).

There are 365 days in a year. One percent of this is three days. How many Catholics went to Confession three times this past year? If individual Catholics placed a high priority on repentance and Confession, they'd find a way to increase the hours for Confessions, even if it meant having more children and fostering vocations so there would be more priests to hear Confessions.

Jesus promised that if we'd seek repentance and conversion, we would get it (see Mt 7:7-8). Jesus says this to the churches: "Be earnest about it, therefore. Repent!" (Rv 3:19)

Prayer:  Jesus, You devoted Your entire life to conversion and repentance. As Your disciple, I commit myself to do the same.

Promise:  "Today salvation has come to this house." —Lk 19:9

Praise:  Sts. Ann and Joachim believed that God would work His plan through their daughter. They expressed their belief by presenting Mary to be raised in the Temple at the age of three.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006

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