A Deep Change of Heart
When John proclaimed a baptism of repentance, as today’s Gospel relates, he called people to a deep change of heart. For John the Baptist, repentance was not simply regret for past failings, but a commitment to orient life around God’s desires and purposes. What might living in alignment with God’s desires look like? Our readings offer some clues. Baruch indicates that when mercy and justice are embraced like a royal garment, we may see the fruits of repentance. Paul notes how the Holy Spirit has been active within the church in Philippi, forming them to live in a loving and united community of faith, so they may witness to the love of God. And John himself suggests that a repentant heart clears a path for God to enter, leveling the mountains and valleys of our resistance, so that God might dwell within.
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