Sunday after Theophany
All the preaching of Christ and His Church can be summed up in only one word: repentance. As we heard in today’s Gospel reading, Christ began his preaching with repentance and he ended it up also with repentance. After His Resurrection, He commanded the Apostles to proclaim repentance in His name to all the nations. Jesus began His preaching in Capernaum of Galilee, and said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat. 4:17). Of course, in the beginning, repentance was preached to the peoples who did not know the true God and worshiped the creation, such as idols, the sun, the moon, the stars, the fire and demonic spirits. However, the Church οf Christ continues to this day to call upon its baptized members to repent. And this is because “we all stumble in many things”(James 3:2). “For who shall be pure from uncleanness? No one. Even if his life is but one day upon the earth” (Job 14:4). And “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Even the Great Apostle of Christ, St. Paul, comes to the point of saying that he is the first among the sinners, whom Christ has come to save (I Tim.1:15). My brothers, if the Apostle Paul had this opinion of himself, despite the fact that he succeeded in going up to the third heaven while he was alive on earth, then we can easily understand how much more we ought to feel our sinfulness!
There are many types of sins. We should know, however, that all sins, regardless of how serious they may be, they are forgiven by God. There is only one type of sin that is not forgiven: that is , unrepentance. Christ described this type of sin as a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 12:31). This is because unrepentance hinders the Grace of the Holy Spirit to act. Let us, therefore, make sure that we will never fall into this sin. Unrepentance is death and loss. He who does not repent, he does not understand neither his fault nor his sin, therefore he does not ask for God’s grace and he is not forgiven. Because God forgives those who feel their mistakes, and ask for divine grace. In other words, these are the persons, who repent.
Repentance is precisely this: to regret and be sad about all that you have done against God’ s will, in deeds, in words and with your feelings, and ask for forgiveness for your faults, trying with all your strength not to repeat them. Thus, by the grace of God and your spiritual struggle you will become a new man, you will rejuvenate spiritually and you will find salvation.
Unrepentance reveals a reckless person, while repentance characterizes a man who is really smart and sensible, who knows what his own eternal interest is.
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus Christ came down to earth in order to make us new men. Free of the devil’s passions and bonds. To be liberated from “miserable sin” and to be “fragrance of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15). That is why He calls us to repentance. Let us therefore, repent, in order to approach Him more and more closely, so that we may become spiritually renewed and “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4: 23- 24).
Sunday after Theophany