30 September, Friday – Repentance

30 September – Memorial for St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor

Jerome (347-419) led a misspent youth. He later converted in theory, being baptised in 365, and then had a true conversion when he studied theology. Monk. He revised the Latin text of the Bible. The result of his 30 years of work was the Vulgate translation, which is still in use. He is a Doctor of the Church and Father of the Church. Since his own time, he has been associated in the popular mind with scrolls, writing, cataloguing, translating, etc. This led to those who work in such fields taking him as their patron – a man who knew their lives and problems.

– Patron Saints Index

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Job 38:1,12-21,40:3-5

From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said:

Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning
or sent the dawn to its post,
telling it to grasp the earth by its edges
and shake the wicked out of it,
when it changes the earth to sealing clay
and dyes it as a man dyes clothes;
stealing the light from wicked men
and breaking the arm raised to strike?
Have you journeyed all the way to the sources of the sea,
or walked where the Abyss is deepest?
Have you been shown the gates of Death
or met the janitors of Shadowland?
Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth?
Tell me all about it if you have!
Which is the way to the home of the light,
and where does darkness live?
You could then show them the way to their proper places,
or put them on the path to where they live!
If you know all this, you must have been born with them,
you must be very old by now!

Job replied to the Lord:

My words have been frivolous: what can I reply?
I had better lay my finger on my lips.
I have spoken once… I will not speak again;
more than once… I will add nothing.

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Luke 10:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.

‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

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“Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.”

Many times in our lives, we unknowingly play God, even in times of prayer. We pray as and when we need Him and we expect Him to answer our prayers if not He doesn’t love us.

As in the first reading, do we really know how much God loves us? Are we aware of the things He has done in our lives? Are we aware of the things He is doing?

Sometimes we ask God for a sign or to show us the right path, but it is in our stubbornness that after it all, we still want to do it OUR way. We reject the path that He is showing us because it seems to inconvenient or uncomfortable even before we walk it. The Lord shares with Job in the first reading and Job realises his imperfections and weaknesses. There’s no way we will be able to fully understand the magnitude of God’s love for us or who He truly is. But we are called to believe and trust for there definitely has been signs, people, events in our lives that He has been present. The many small miracles that happen every day, are we grateful or we simply take for granted?

We see in the Gospel where indeed there will be judgment when the time comes. Do we want to wait till it’s too late before we repent?

For the times when we have used God, for the times where we weren’t aware and failed to recognise His presence. For the times where we took Him for granted and for the times we rejected Him. Let us repent. Like Job, let us offer our lives to the Lord and believe that He didn’t create us in order that we may suffer and that it’s not the things of the world that we should be living for, to clear our distractions and focus on the one destination which is to be with God in all eternity.

As the psalmist says, “Lead me, O Lord, in the path of life eternal” Amen.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)

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Prayer: Dear Lord, we ask for your forgiveness and patience as we continuously reject you and get caught up with our society and worldly matters that we lose the sense of why we are living. Help us before it’s too late, give us the wisdom and awareness to see beyond the things we do, to see the love, joy, to seek forgiveness as well as to forgive others. Lead us Lord to you. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord for your never failing love. Thank you Lord for continuing to bless us with your love even when we may not see it or understand. Thank you for this reminder. Amen.

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