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1st Oct. 2017 - 26th Sun. of the Year A

posted 29 Sep 2017, 04:04 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & Hw.


"He shall certainly live; he shall not die." We are dealing

with life and death issues. Repentance is a matter of life

and death. Repentance is a root and branch business.

Repentance is radical. Repentance is an about turn, a U‑

turn. Repentance is a change from "I will not go" to "I

will go." Repentance is the response of the tax collectors

and the prostitutes to John the Baptist's call. Repentance

is entry into the Kingdom now, right here and now.

Repentance is total. Repentance is a new way of life.

So we accept the necessity for constant growth and

maturation and repentance. There is no standing still and

marking time in the repentance stakes. Trouble is that it is

all so complicated. There seem to be no black and white

issues anymore. We live a blind-mans-buff existence.

We grope in the dark of a plague of options. We need a

guru. And the Psalmist will do. The Psalmist gives us

the only recourse there really is, a prayer for the Lord's

mercy. Pray for the Lord's mercy and let the Lord sort out

all the complications.

"Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

for you are God my saviour." Ps. 24.4.


The answer to our prayer is instant. KENOSIS. Kenosis

says the Lord, is my way.

"His state was divine,

Yet he did not cling

To his equality with God


To assume the condition of a slave

And became as men are." Phil 26

Emptied himself and that is Kenosis, the Lord's way. So

there is no clinging to a false self that we imagine to be the

real me. Rather we let go and let God. We do a Jesus,

empty oneself, serve and be holy.

Nor does holiness separate us from others, whoever they

are. Rather it weds us to others, just like Jesus. Christ's

holiness is shown in his embrace of us in all our sinful

imperfection. His holiness is displayed not by distance

from us but by closeness. His holiness is the holiness we

are invited to embrace when we are called to repentance.

Jesus embraces the untouchable, the lepers. Jesus eats

and drinks with sinners. Jesus is sacrificial lamb who dies

on the altar of the cross.

We become a holy, priestly people when we embody

Christ's embrace of us all in our messy lives, with all their

weaknesses and failure. The holiness of the Church, and

that is us, is shown in its inclusion of sinners, not their

exclusion. As James Joyce said of the Church, "Here

comes everyone". Surely our vision of life and our

understanding of holiness must be free of any vestige of

elitism. Our vision and repentant holiness, like Christ's, is

founded upon our intimacy and identification with people

in their struggles and failures. This is the sanctity to

which we are invited when Jesus says, "Repent!" No

clinging to the self. Let it go. Empty the self. Serve!

And the victory is certain.