Today’s readings are about our need for repentance. We are asked to be contrite and humble in order to avoid God’s wrath. The first reading also reminds us that when “God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,” He forgave the people of Nineveh.
Actions speak louder than words. How do we know what is right and what is wrong? It seems to me that it is difficult to live a righteous life when there are so many temptations. It is easy to blame the media, the internet, friends, family, and society for many problems. But there is nothing that inhibits us from living humbly. There is no reason why we could not repent when we know that we have done something wrong. My husband can testify that I find it difficult to say “I am sorry.” I did not grow up in a household where those words were ever uttered, but then again, this is not an excuse for finding it so difficult to admit that I have done something wrong. To me, admitting that I was wrong makes me feel as if I am worthless, as if I am not lovable any longer. I find it easier to admit my failings to God, as He is not likely to judge me.
Similarly, humility doesn’t always come easy to me either. To be humble, I have to submit to God’s will and authority; I have to recognize the talents that others possess, while recognizing the limits to my own talents and ability. While recognizing the talents of my children or husband seems relatively easy, I find it sometimes difficult to recognize other individuals’ talents, and I often find it difficult to do things without being recognized. As a parent, I am very proud of my sons’ achievements. It is easy to acknowledge their talents – they are wonderful and at some level it reflects well on me. I can bask in their glory. I think that too often, I am searching for recognition and honor because I want to be valued. However, I tend to forget that God values all of us, no matter who we are or what we have achieved. I don’t need to seek His approval – I have it. Undoubtedly, receiving recognition for my talents is appreciated, but those talents are a gift of God.
Today, I thank God for his many blessings and I ask him to keep me humble. I pray: “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me; My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit.”
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