Repentance: conversion of the heart

Carême - Lent 2022

Published on 24 March 2022

We invite you, on the occasion of Lent 2022, on a 7 week-journey of biblical meditations until Easter to discover or rediscover the foundations of our ministry of spiritual care. This week we invite you to repentance and the conversion of the heart.

Repentance is the pain we experience when we acknowledge our sins to God. This leads to a change of attitude called conversion. These two actions may be linked in most situations but it is not always the case.

It happens that after confessing the sin to God, we continue to live exactly as before, without worrying about our actions. But here is what the Scriptures in the Old Testament tell us:

  • “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”. Isaiah 5:20
  • “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:32

In the New Testament repentance calls to faith, to believe in the Kingdom of God that comes, that is there. When we speak of repentance in the Gospels, we often think of John the Baptist; he baptized in the wilderness and preached baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. At the time his words were provocative because he called for a change of behaviour. “Produce fruit, therefore, that confirms your change of attitude,” Matthew 3:8 reads.

If the sinner does not acknowledge his sin, if he covers it up by making excuses, fearing that he will be rejected by society or God, or if he simply listens to God’s word without putting it into practice, he will receive no Salvation. God will never admit a sinful soul into His Kingdom. The Lord says in Revelation 3:19: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

Through the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus shows us that God is good, merciful and slow to anger. When the son repents from his evil deeds, he sees that the workers at his father’s house have bread in abundance. He also witnesses the abundance of his father’s love towards all.

Indeed, as the Bible tells us in the book of Chronicles : “Jehovah, your God, gives grace and is filled with compassion, and he will not turn away from you if you return to him.” (2 Chronicles 30:9b)

Let us take a few minutes this week to invite the Holy Spirit to show us the sins that block our relationship with Him. With humility and faith let us ask God to forgive us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Father, through our repentance, we surrender totally to Your mercy. We want a conversion of heart and an act of faith guided by You. We believe in You, who redeemed our sins by giving the life of Your Son, Jesus Christ, for us. Amen.