THE SERVANT GENERAL
CALL TO REPENTANCE
February 25, 2015
“This generation is an evil generation” (Lk 11:29b).
Indeed it is. Today the world is so steeped in evil. There
is an explosion of sexual licentiousness. There is massive
loss of faith, with massive numbers of Catholics turning away
from Christ and the Church. There is apostasy, with rejection
of the faith and even assaulting the faith. There is the massive
onslaught of the culture of death, aiming to destroy family
and life. There is the oppression and persecution of Christians,
with Christians being slaughtered in the Middle East and Christians
being marginalized and discriminated against in the western
has come into the churches. The culture of death has been
embraced. Most of the Protestant Churches are already lost.
But the enemy has also infiltrated the one, true, holy and
apostolic Church, the Roman Catholic Church. Such infiltration
has gone to high levels in the Church hierarchy. There are
bishops and cardinals who seek tolerance and even “acceptance”
of sin in the form of cohabitation, divorce and remarriage,
and same-sex unions.
Why did Jesus come into the world? To save humankind from
sin and Satan, to win salvation for us. He accomplished that
by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Thus are we
saved. But such salvation is not automatic. We need to respond
to Jesus’ saving act. This response starts with repentance
and putting our faith in Jesus.
is the same today as then, like in the time of the prophet
Jonah. “Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” (Lk 11:30).
How was it with Jonah?
inhabitants of Nineveh, just like the world today, were very
wicked. God sent Jonah to preach repentance. He had preached
just a day, when the people of Nineveh repented (Jon 3:4-5).
Even the king repented, and proclaimed repentance for his
whole kingdom (Jon 3:6-8). What was the result? “When
God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he
did not carry it out.” (Jon 3:10).
are several lessons here. One, God is grieved by persistent
serious wrongdoing, and at some point will severely punish
those who do not turn away from such evil. Two, to reverse
this dire situation, our recourse is simply to repent. Three,
the preaching of God’s word and God’s truth, with
the goal of bringing sinners to repentance, is powerful and
The Church today is searching for ways by which we can reach
out to Catholics in the peripheries and how we can bring them
back. In particular, we are searching for how we can extend
mercy and compassion to those Catholics who are in the peripheries
with regard to the whole area of human sexuality. So some
bishops and cardinals want to just accept these Catholics,
by being nice to them, being welcoming, not being offensive.
How? By not talking about their sinful situation but by just
accepting them as they are.
is false mercy. That is not the mercy of God. The mercy of
God is always an invitation to repentance. Such repentance
of sin is the only way to avoid God’s wrath, and more
positively, to experience God’s salvation. “Who
knows? God may again repent and turn from his blazing wrath,
so that we will not perish.” (Jon 3:9).
then should be done? First is to recognize sin. “For
I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.”
(Ps 51:5). Then what should the Church do? With great mercy
and compassion, she should teach the truth of God’s
ways, and preach repentance. “I will teach the wicked
your ways, that sinners may return to you.” (Ps 51:15).
is what mercy and compassion is all about: “Have mercy
on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant
compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps
51:3). God’s mercy and compassion is about leading humankind
out of sin, not allowing them to persist in sin, even to be
comfortable in their sin.
Our Catholic Church today is searching for how to reach those
Catholics in the peripheries with the mercy and compassion
of God. And so “it seeks a sign, but no sign will be
given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Lk 11:29c). Jesus
already gave the key to being in the kingdom of God. It is
to repent and believe in the gospel. The gospel or good news
can never be about persisting in sin. It is always about turning
away from sin.
generation, as in the time of Nineveh, is an evil generation.
To them God sent Jonah. To us God has already sent Jesus.
The message of both is the same. It is repentance of sin.
Why should any of our Church hierarchy change that basic message?
If we do, we will stand condemned. “At the judgment
the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn
it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there
is something greater than Jonah here.” (Lk 11:32).