After St. Peter’s brilliant sermon on the Day of Pentecost, those who were listening asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (vv. 37-38, alt.) The word repent means “to change your mind”, or “to change the way you think about something”. It is taking a fresh look at what we believe about something and coming to a better understanding about it. When Jesus told us to repent because the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand, he meant that we should re-think all that we do because God’s kingdom is so close we can reach out and touch it.
Ordinary time is about renewal and growth. And growth comes only with repentance. Take a few moments to consider where the Holy Spirit has been convicting you lately. Think about the things you’ve done that have displeased God. Think about the things you’ve failed to do. Then, ask for God’s forgiveness. You may find the following prayer helpful:
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.