A cross sign in the middle of a sunset

Total Repentance

Repent! We hear the carillon call all the time. We accept the idea of repentance on the surface. Beyond giving it lip service, we rarely give repentance much consideration. Let’s face it. We all would rather just keep going like we are going. Unfortunately, without repentance we will be destroyed.

At that time, there were some present who told Jesus of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Luke 13.1-9

In today’s Gospel passage, Christ makes it quite clear. Without repentance we will all perish. That doesn’t seem fair. Experience has taught us that we cannot go through life without sinning. If we will perish without repentance, but we cannot avoid sin, then God has condemned us to death without a way out.

There is always a way out, but you must want to take it. The path of repentance begins with wanting to join God in heaven. Christ said, “Whoever DESIRES to come after me…..” (Mark 8.34) Presuming you want to follow Christ into heaven, He provides the way out of death. HE is the way out. Join Him. Love Him. Follow Him. So, you answered ‘yes’ to wanting Him. You still have to deal with sin. We all have to deal with sin. Here is what Saint Paul said in today’s Epistle passage.

Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

1st Corinthians 4.9-16

Saint Paul, who was one of the greatest persecutors of Christians and the Church, repented and joined Christ. He still sinned, by his own admission. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7.15) Saint Paul, even though he repented, still sinned like we do.

If Saint Paul sinned and is still honored by God, then repentance is much more than just behavior. Repentance is our way of thinking which leads to behavior changes. That is our way out. Saint Paul admitted to the constant battle to live as God desired. Sometimes he got it right, and sometimes he got it wrong. The same can be true for us.

Repentance brings us to the battle, not the victory. The victory will come by God’s grace at the judgment. Our time on earth is the battle of repentance. When Christ says we will be destroyed if we don’t repent, He is warning us to change our way of thinking.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

Romans 7.15

Begin to think like Christ thinks and life changes. We will no longer desire sin, even if we fall to temptation. As of now, Christ has put us on warning like the fig tree in today’s passage. With some intercession, God has given us another chance to bear fruit. We have been warned by Christ. Repent or be destroyed. Life comes with total repentance. We may not always get it right, but we will always want to get it right.


  1. JoAnn Metropoulos on November 18, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I Pray and ask Christ for forgiveness always through communion but should try to remember to do this more often

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