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Joseph of Jesus and Mary

Call to repentance and Conversion

Call to repentance and Conversion

Call to repentance and Conversion

Call to repentance and Conversion - Call to holiness - Ash wednesday Lent

Joel Chapter 2:11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

Call to repentance.
Joel Chapter 2:11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

God Himself calls His people to repentance through the ages, in this Word through the prophet Joel God confirms the power of the voice of justice that resonates like thunder, and sends his army of angels to punish disobedience of man.

He has prepared a judgment day for all humanity and everyone will be there, who will be able to endure that moment?, a day when the darkness of sin will come out before the light of the Divine Judgment, a day when the soul will lose its free will, and will see clearly and with much pain the wounds of its disobedience. Day when the elements will burn and disappear, the naked soul will show her shame in the light of God's justice. In that day prayer will have no value, it won’t matter; only the good made by the soul will have value, because that will be the day of reckoning and payment. Who will be able to pay?

The prophet Joel tell us in Chapter 2:12 Even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.

The Lord manifests conversion as the first objective, Amos chapter 5:15 Hate evil and love good, and do justice in the gates.

This righteousness is also the self-righteousness that we impose to ourselves when we repent. Repentance is a personal judgment that each of us has to do, it is not nice to have someone judge us, let alone God who is giving us the opportunity to do justice at the door, that is to say before entering his presence.

The most powerful tool to help us in our repentance is our conscience, which clearly indicates us what is good and what is bad. But we must be very careful because if we have tendencies toward sin, we will also hear the voice of the enemy persuading us with his temptations to live in sin.

Hence the need we have to make a daily examination of conscience before falling asleep going through all the moments when we did not do the will of God.

The Lord calls us to return to Him. The reality of sin is that it separates us from God. Sin is like a wall that prevents the light of God shining on us, then it makes us fall into darkness.

The Lord calls us to fasting, weeping and mourning for our sins.

How should we fast? Physical fasting is to limit food intake, it is a good practice to do it on Fridays on bread and water.

It is good not start eating bread early in the morning to have more resistance, because if we eat the body feels the need within a few hours. If it becomes difficult and causes headaches, we can be step down to bread and coffee, but if we still want to do it and the body does not take it more, we can reduce it to bread and Milo.

During fasting we should avoid doing too much exercise or manual labor. It is good to include some time of rest during the day.

Physical fasting helps to overcome the flesh, the concupiscence of lust and achieve mastery of the will to give it to the Lord.

Apart from physical fasting, we have spiritual fasting as shown by the Lord in Isaiah chapter 58:6-8 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Another type of fasting is mortification of the senses that we can do, like not watching television, having entertainment, dissipation, and anything that does not take us to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Now a days, fasting has been so watered down that is disappearing, and the people of God does not practice it as did the saints; it would be good if we could recover this spiritual practice that is so powerful, that even the Lord himself practiced for forty days.

Matthew chapter 6: 16-18 Jesus calls us to fast silently so that only our Heavenly Father will take notice, He who sees everything in secret. Fasting remains an integral part of our spirituality.

Chapter Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Back in the old days, when people felt a strong emotion such as anger, indignation, shame, pain of the soul or any other intense emotion or feeling, they tore their clothes.

For this reason the Lord asks his people not to tear their clothes but their hearts. Of course sensitivity to sin has been lost so much that people feel no pain about offending God.

If we do not feel sorrow for having offended God, it is because we do not know what our sins have done, and this is what we must constantly meditate.

Sin has crucified Christ and has caused his death; in fact, if I am in sin I have Christ crucified and suffering for me, it is only looking spiritually in this way that we can feel pain and rip our hearts.

Joel Chapter 2:14 Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him.

We must remember that it is better to live repentant than to have to face at some point the wrath of God, however, when we repent, we win again the divine friendship. The city of Nineveh was threatened with destruction, but people repented and the Lord did not punish them.

Chapter Joel 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a solemn assembly.

As a warning sign in these times of so much sin, let us remember that the Holy Scriptures call us to fasting; we can not ignore these calls from the Lord.

Joel Chapter 2:17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and make not thy heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?

The Lord puts in the hands of priests the responsibility for the salvation of souls.
They should preach repentance in each homily; priests are called to mourn for the sin of the people, to feel responsible for the salvation of all souls delivered by God in their care, they should promote the examination of conscience and the sacrament of confession frequently.

Joel Chapter 2:18 Then the LORD became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.

This occurred long before the coming of Jesus Christ and thus it could be for all this generation if the Church was strong in proclaiming the examination of conscience, repentance and conversion, emphasizing fasting which is the same word of Jesus in Matthew chapter 16:24 "deny yourself".

Matthew 3: 1-12 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea

2 He said, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. -
Repent! These are the same words that Jesus said when he began the ministry of His Word, he says that the kingdom of heaven is very near, but the kingdom arises immediately when the conversion occurs.

3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

The Lord wants to enter the heart, but when we are in sin the way is crooked and full of obstacles for the Lord, so it is hard for him to get in, to prepare the way is to leave sin so that Christ can enter directly without any hindrance through a clean, straight path.

4 Now John wore a garment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

The appearance of John calls us to simplicity and humility, his eating habits tell us that we eat to live and we must not live to eat, we should not be too complicated with our food, furthermore, we must practice fasting and frugality. Much abundance makes us slaves of food, and it is an obstacle for the liberation of the soul.

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan,

John's name is synonymous with repentance; everyone needs it and should seek repentance and conversion.

6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

When we confess our sins, the grace of baptism blooms again in us and reopens a way to perfect ourselves spiritually.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

There are many people who without desiring to leave sin approach the Lord, just to try to secure their salvation, these people do not seek him with all their hearts to love him, but to use him. There is no love here, so John the Baptist told the Pharisees also the hypocrites that they will not escape punishment unless they truly convert to the Lord.

8 John the Baptist says, produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Repentance is a sign of faith and trust in God, but faith is dead without works, therefore repentance should lead us to conversion, it means to be fully converted to Christ, that is leaving behind everything that enslaves us to the world, the devil and the flesh to become absolute slaves of love and of God's will.

9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

The Jews thought that because they were descendants of Abraham, they had the right to salvation. Protestants also believe that just by confessing that Jesus is our Lord and Savior we are already saved. And the same happens to us, millions of Catholics, we believe that just by having the title of being Catholics, we have achieved our salvation.

The reality is that the Kingdom of Heaven is very difficult to posses as assured by St. Paul in his holiness exhorting us in

Philippians chapter 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

10 And Saint John the Baptist says, Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

With certainty and Justice Saint John the Baptist assures us the punishment we must expect if we do not produce fruit according to repentance. In the spiritual life we are trees planted to produce, remember how the Lord was indignant with the fig tree that did not bear fruit and he cursed it.

Matthew chapter 21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once.

11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The true Christian must desire the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. In baptism we received just a spark of the fire of the Holy Spirit, as any type of fire, for it to grow, it is necessary to keep it up with fuel. Our prayer is the fuel, in the sacraments, our good works, fasting, mortification and surrender to God's will and those produce the baptism that Christ gives us with the Holy Spirit and the fire of Divine Love that ignites the soul in full surrender to the will of God.

12 John the Baptist tells us that Jesus has his winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Woe to us if we are not wheat for the Lord, woe to those that are ready for the fire like straw.

Jesus began his salvific mission to convert us with the same words of John the Baptist, Matthew chapter 4:17 Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Examination of conscience

Let us enter each of the commandments of the Lord to examine our lives with the magnifying glass of the spirit.
Forgive us Lord, for we have transgressed your commandments.

1st Commandment. We have not loved you above all things, or our neighbor as ourselves, forgive us Lord.

2nd Commandment. We have sworn in vain and dishonored your holy name, forgive us Lord.

3rd Commandment. We have not kept your holy day, we have dedicated it to other activities, forgive us Lord.

4th Commandment. We have not honored father and mother, forgive us Lord.

5th Commandment. We have not respected life; we are sorry for all the crimes committed by abortions, indifference, hatred, violence and terrorism, forgive us Lord.

6th Commandment. Forgive us Lord for the sins of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender ideology, sexual abuse, pornography, masturbation, child abuse, incest and all laws that violate your commandments, forgive us Lord.

Lord forgive all those who create laws against your commandments, and all who support them.

7th Commandment. We have sinned by stealing, robbing the poor with injustices committed against them, forgive us Lord.

8th Commandment. Forgive the lies, deceit, dishonesty and backbiting, forgive us Lord.

9th Commandment. Forgive avarice, greed, envy and materialism, forgive us Lord.

10th Commandment. Forgive us Lord for coveting our neighbor's wife, and for improper relations in adultery.

For all my sins, I repent and I implore your Mercy ....

For all abortions that are continually committed, forgive us Lord, give us the grace to amend our lives and make reparation.

Blessed Virgin Mary, forgive us our sins. They are the cause of the death of your son Jesus.

St. Michael the Archangel forgive us on behalf of all the angels.

Saint Joseph, forgive on behalf of all the saints.

God hates sin, God hates evil – How to stop sinning

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