1 Pt 3:18-22
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“This is the time of fulfillment.” The call to repentance, issued at the start of Lent, is a call to respond to something that has already happened. The promise of the covenant after the flood in the days of Noah has been fulfilled in the new and everlasting covenant of Christ. God has cleansed us by the waters of baptism, and given us new, eternal life. This is the fulfillment which brings an obligation: reform your lives, so that they will correspond to the new life that has been poured into you!
Repentance, therefore, is not a matter of something imposed from the outside, but rather a matter of being consistent with a gift already given.
This gift, essentially, is life. By the new and eternal covenant, renewed in each Mass, we become, ever more deeply, a people of Life. The repentance we undertake is expressed in the self-giving that Christ shows us on the altar. We give ourselves away to foster life in our families, our communities, and the world.
Putting ourselves aside to welcome the gift of life in the person of the unborn child is a particularly urgent aspect of the repentance needed in our nation today. Lent gives us the opportunity to echo that call: Reform your lives, and put aside the doubt, fear, and selfishness that would destroy another human being in the name of “choice.” Reform your lives, and repent of the silence that keeps you from defending the helpless in your midst. Reform your lives, and work for the reformation of the laws and policies of the nation, that they may protect the rights that God has already given to all, born and unborn. Reform your lives, reject the covenant of death, and live the Covenant of Life!