Lent Reflection
This Lent, Jesus Invites Us To Reform and Believe
Father Joel Lopez, St. Rita, Rockford
February 15, 2024

Jesus’ instruction contains two points: The first is “to reform” our lives. The second is to “believe in the Gospel.” “To reform” means acknowledging the presence of evil in our lives and turning away from it. It entails confronting sin and actively distancing ourselves from it.

For instance, we recognize selfish tendencies that prioritize our comfort over the needs of others, pride that prevents us from admitting our mistakes, and laziness that hinders our ability to assist others. “To reform” involves confronting these negative inclinations and taking steps to address them.

This leads us to the second aspect of Jesus’ teaching: to “believe in the Gospel.” This entails acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God who came to offer salvation. It involves seeking Jesus, particularly through the sacrament of reconciliation, and receiving forgiveness and healing from Him.

Today’s Gospel message serves as a fitting introduction to the season of Lent. Throughout history, Christians have embraced Lent as a period of grace, particularly conducive to reforming one’s life.

As we begin Lent, we can seize the opportunity to rediscover the transformative power and peace found in the sacrament of reconciliation. In this sacrament, we respond to Jesus’ invitation by acknowledging our sinfulness (to reform) and accepting Him as our savior (to believe in the Gospel).


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