Jesus does not want us to act out of fear, but out of hope. Josef Rodriguez, SJ, reflects on what it means to repent while looking forward to the beginning of something new. Based on the readings for Sunday, January 24, 2021.
Repent, repent! For the BEGINNING is at hand!
I’m Josef Rodriguez, and this is my one-minute reflection.
You’ve probably heard street corner preachers urging people to repent in anticipation of the end times, a period of fear and trembling. [Toss aside the sign] But in today’s Gospel, Jesus’ call to repentance doesn’t revolve around fear, but around belief in the good news–that God’s Kingdom is among us.
Today, we are missioned to represent that Kingdom for others and invite them to repentance or (in the Greek) “metanoia,” a complete change of mind and heart. Sometimes, though, our attempts easily lead us to the use of fear, anger, or even hatred. Instead of using “scare tactics” to change hearts and minds, let’s use “hope tactics” to show that what we believe really is “Good News”: That God’s Kingdom isn’t the end, but the fulfilled hope of a new beginning.