John’s message is simple and direct. “Repent.”
For me, there’s a lot going on with “repent.” Remembering things I really don’t want to remember, sincerely regretting what I have done, making amends. So far so good.
Then comes the part where I add my own personal touch. Making sure that I feel bad about myself. And begrudgingly changing my ways. Maybe.
But my angsty, guilt-ridden, half-hearted version of repenting isn’t what John’s talking about.
Sunday’s first reading gives us the Spirit of John’s message. It shows us that what John is talking about is God’s version of repenting. Not mine.
And it couldn’t be more different.
More on this tomorrow.