It is 13th March 2019. The readings are from Jonah 3:1-10; and the Gospel from Luke 11:29-32. When we shoot the messenger always, we unconsciously trying to dilute the message. Most of us have engaged in evaluating, criticising and analysing the preaching and the giver of the Word of God than what is proclaimed. Unless we become holy, perfect and truthful to what is going on inside of us, we cannot accept the message. No matter who God uses for the proclamation, yet the Word of God is as sharp as it would be. The life and faith of the preacher cannot add holiness to the Word of God but surely strengthen the receptivity of the believers. Lent is the time to listen to the Word of God without an extensive research about it rather to search within ourselves with the help of it to deal with those unwanted elements that make us to be far from God. Repentance requires unbiased receptive earbuds and generously willing hearts to the Word of God. In the first reading, prophet Jonah admonished the people of Nineveh to return to the Lord. The intended preaching of the prophet brought the effective repentance in the hearts of people. We too listen so many preaching and teaching. Do they have any impact on our personal life and decision we make and they we relate with the other? We all need an adequate amount of fasting, praying and works of charity to apply what we listen. Otherwise, we need to face the wrath of God. Refusing to repent is refusing to accept the offer of God’s blessing during the Lent. There is no way we can clean up our spiritual mess we have created without penance, prayer and charity. The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.” (Ps.50:19). Jesus too warns us to accept God’s message to deal with our sinful inclinations. Jesus is our sign and the Sacred Scripture is the path for our salvation. God sends enough people to deliver God’s message and expects and demands the change of heart. Let us not excuse ourselves by finding fault with the messengers of the Word rather to accept God’s Word and repent. As God loves the sinners, so God is not tired of sending as many people in our lives to demonstrate God’s love for us sinners. Nothing and no one must make our hearts hardened. The people who do not love and believe God are repenting and living a life that is pleasing to God while we who claim to know, love and believe God find it hard to repent. When we have decided not to repent, we begin to look for peripheral signs and waste God’s blessings and graces. Those who claim to be holy and good are the very people God is hinting in today’s reading to repent. The attitude of feeling alright is in itself needs a serious conversion of heart, mind and body. May our repentance be the response to what we have listened. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

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