“Return to me, and I will return to you” (Malachi 3:7)
March 3, 2021
God calls all humans for repentance; He says: “Return to me, and I will return to you.” Repentance is our way to salvation for we shall we be cleansed from our sins. Father Anthony Mourad of Coptic Orthodox Church defined Repentance as, “Repentance is both the Journey and the Destination of our salvation.” He added saying, “The Church labels this phenomenon by stating that there is both Repentance to life, as well as a life of Repentance.” (Malachi 3:7)
Repentance is a Divine act performed by God inside the person, according to His Divine promise, saying: “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness…I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ descended from heaven and sacrificed his life for us upon the Holy Cross, He also established the life of repentance. Lord truly has come down for our sakes in order for us to Repent and to have abundant life in Him, then let us be encouraged and bold in our struggle, always being assured that He will grant us real change, victory, and Repentance in our lives.
During His sermon, Lord Jesus told the Pharisees a story of lost son; scripted in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 13, verse 11-32. He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots; you killed the fatted calf for him.’
“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. ” The prodigal regretted all his bad deeds and seeking his father’s forgiveness, he returned to him; this exemplary for we seek repentance for all our sins.
Sinners seek repentance for their salvation. Father Anthony explains about the story of the lost son: “We all know how the younger son asked for his inheritance and then left his Father and wasted his life away in prodigal living. We also know of how he came to his senses and chose to go back to his father. What we should pay attention to, however, is how he expresses this need to go back to his father when he realized the horror he had found himself in.”
“The rising up that we witness in the story is the meaning of repentance a complete and utter change is adopted not only in his speech and mindset, but also in his behaviour and ultimately his life. if we are to speak of Repentance as a “change in direction”, then we must understand that as Christians we struggle in order to achieve Repentance, and we also Repent ALONG the way!” added Father Anthony. All those living sinful life necessities, Repentance for it is not only “reconciliation,” but “the means by with God returns and dwells in the human heart, transforming it to a heaven.”
May it be God’s will in accepting our repentance; Amen!