Total reconciliation with God and with others
Today’s Gospel speaks of John the Baptist, chosen to announce the coming of the Messiah. “Prepare a way for the Lord,” he calls out and his words are equally meant for us as for the people he directly spoke to.
He comes “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” by their immersion in the waters of the River Jordan and their desire to have their sinful past totally washed away.
‘Repentance’ is not just sorrow for past sins but also a desire for a total and radical change of outlook, a radical and genuine renewal and conversion of heart.
This conversion in turn will bring about the forgiveness of sin, a release, a letting go, a liberation from the chains of sin.
This is how valleys are filled in, mountains and hills laid low, winding ways straightened and rough roads made smooth. This is how each is to have the personal experience in their own heart of the saving power of God.
Through the sacrament of reconciliation and a disposition of seeking and offering forgiveness we open ourselves to further conversion, to an ever deeper change of heart. We need, to find total reconciliation with God and with others.
Isaiah reminds us that we need God’s grace in order that “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The peace, meaning, and joy that we thirst for above all else is out of our sinful reach. We need someone to bring it to us, we need a Savior.
He always wants to bring us closer to God, closer to the fullness of life that we long for. But he won’t forcehis way.
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.