4th Sunday of Easter
Repent and enter into the Kingdom of God
by Brother Azam Mansha
Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Ps 23:1-6; 1-Peter 2:20b-25 and John 10:1-10
With the latest technology and advance in science, men and women find many ways to address their current needs. The modern means of communication - What’s up, Messenger, Viber, Imo, Skype, etc connects one to the other end of the world. There are many ways to connect, but there is only one way to enter the Kingdom of God, that is to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ.
Jesus began his earthly ministry with preaching ‘repentance and seeking the kingdom of God’ (Mt 4:17). He prepared his disciples for three years to continue the same message which is visible in the proclamation of Peter before three thousand people, “each of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ ” (Acts 2…). The message of the resurrection is to preach the repentance and forgiveness of sins (LK 24:47).
Seeking repentance or asking forgiveness is seen as a weakness. A person does not want to seek repentance from God and his/her neighbor because he/she thinks that society will judge them as weak or wrong. The Christian repentance or forgiveness is actually divine grace; coming into his senses like the prodigal son (LK 15: 17-19). The grace of repentance allows the Good Shepherd to leave ninety-nine in the safe place and go after the lost one (Lk 15:1-4).
How do we receive this grace of repentance?
The grace of seeking repentance comes into the sacrament of baptism (Mt 28:19). The faithful has been graced in the sacrament of baptism to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord - to receive new life (Roman 6:2-4). Once a person has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he/she enters into the flock, where Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who died for the sins of humanity as professed by Peter (1-Peter 2). He did it with all his free will, in order to fulfill the mission of the Father. The death and resurrection of Jesus has not only brought life, but life in abundance. The faithful is invited to receive this life of abundance, but there is a requirement - to repent! It is necessary to repent from our old ways of life. Once we reconcile and believe in Jesus Christ, we are ready to enter in the Kingdom of God.
May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, intercede for all the faithful to repent of their sins and believe in her only Son Jesus Christ, to enter the Kingdom of God.