The theme of today’s Readings center on one thing: Jesus is the Messiah who suffered and died as an atoning sacrifice of our sins and repentance and forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name. During that time, the idea of Messiah is a conquering king who will not die, not by conquering death but by avoiding it.
However, God’s idea of Messiah is one who suffers, dies and conquers death by destroying it through the resurrection. This is why this Messiah is able to give eternal life to those who believe him, because he conquered death and those who believe him will also conquer death. Peter said in the First Reading: Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out. Death is conquered not by escaping it, but by repentance and turning to Jesus so we can know him. The Second Reading tells us Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is liar, and in such a person, the truth does not exist. Obedience to the commandments of God proves our relationship with Jesus Christ. John continues: Whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure we are in him.
While it is easy to claim one has repented, the proof of it is in obedience to the commandments of God. I cannot say I am a follower of Christ if I continue to live in sin, or continue to encourage others to live in sin.
The Gospel tells us repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name, to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Eternal life is received from God when we repent and our sins are forgiven. Repentance is through the name of Jesus and not through any other means. We cannot buy our salvation because the blood of Jesus paid for our sins.
Lord, let me recognize you as the Messiah who has to suffer and whom I need to obey. Teach me to trust you and to repent from my sins, so that I can rise with you to eternal life.