Sunday December 05
Turn away from your sins
  • Baruch 5:1-9
  • Psalm 126:1-6
  • Philippians 1:4-6,8-11
  • Luke 3:1-6

During the season of Advent, the Church invites us to prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ. Many of us begin our Christmas preparations by cleaning our houses, getting out our Christmas trees and pulling out boxes of decorations in preparation for the celebration of Christmas.

Externally as we do these things, there are many things we can do internally to prepare for Christmas and the Lord’s birth in our hearts. In the first reading, the Prophet Baruch tells us how we can begin our preparations: “Jerusalem, take off the clothes you have worn in your mourning and dis- tress, and put on the eternal splendour of God’s glory.” The Lord is inviting us to come to Him in repentance. Instead of wallowing in our self-pity and focusing on the sin or sorrow that took us away from God throughout the year, the Lord is inviting us to give up our mourning and replace it with the eternal splendour of His glory. The Lord is calling us to come to him in repentance and to receive His mercy and love. The Catholic Church has given us the Sacrament of Reconciliation to help us find our way back to God.

Today’s Gospel reading speaks about John the Baptist calling the people to repent for their sins. In Luke 3:3 John calls out, “Turn away from your sins and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins.” John is saying what we must do is turn to God in repentance because He is waiting to forgive our sins and bring us closer to Him. Pope Francis once said, “The Lord never tires of forgiveness. It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness because He never tires of forgiving.” God never tires of forgiving our sins. No matter how many times we fall into sin, we can go to the Lord, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive His forgiveness and love.

The Second Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians explains how this gift of reconciliation changes our lives. Philippians 1:6 says, “I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.” When we come to God with the ugliness of our lives, He not only forgives our sins, but with every confession we do, He shapes us into the image of Himself. He carries out this good work until the end of our lives. He is never finished with us. This is good news for us because it means we can come to Him in confession as many times as we like, receive His forgiveness and each time come closer to being more like Him.

Prayer: Abba Father, I pray that with each confession, I may come closer to becoming more like You. Amen.

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