Dear brothers and sisters
If the prophet Jonah, whom we read today in the first reading, appeared in Christchurch sent by God with the following and terrible message: “Only forty days more and Christchurch is going to be destroyed”, what would be the reaction of people? Would they not call 111 so that Jonah could be arrested and jailed for disturbing the peace?! The reaction of the people in Nineveh was much wiser: “…they believed in God; they proclaimed a fast…and God did not inflict on them the disaster which He had threatened”.
If God manifested the grave sins of the people living in that city by threatening to destroy it, what could He do today to those who spread the great evils of abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage etc…? How long will God let his children commit these sins? What will happen to them after they die?
St Paul warns us as a father warns his children because he loves them: “Brothers, our time is growing short…the world is passing away.” (1Cor.7)
Jesus, in the Gospel, asks us to repent of our sins and to believe in the Good News. It is not too late to decide to stop sinning and offending God. It is not too late to stop watching pornography which is part of Satan’s kingdom. It is not too late to stop excessive gambling, drinking and other actions that lead us into sin.
“Our time is growing short”. None of us knows whether he or she has ten more years to live or one more day on earth. This is why it is very important to make the resolution for this year to go to confession regularly especially when we are facing temptations of every kind. The sacrament of Reconciliation heals the wounds of sin in the soul: “..whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23) After baptism, this sacrament instituted by Christ, is our hope since we all sin and often! If we die suddenly without having our soul in a state of grace, what will happen to us?
I share these reflections with you today prompted by the tragic and sudden death of our beloved brother priest, Fr. Graeme Blackburn last Monday. We are all deeply shocked and saddened. Let us pray for his soul, that God grant him the Beatific Vision and eternal happiness.
Let us love one another to enter Heaven.