Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again … is what Christians call repentance. –C.S. Lewis: (1898 –1963: was a British novelist, poet, & academic)
Gospel Text: (LK 11:29-32)
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."
In the Gospel reading, in similar fashion, Jesus castigates the people for their hardness of heart and unwillingness to see and to listen to his message. He reminds them that the Queen of the South traveled far to listen to Solomon and yet "here (today) there is greater than Solomon"; the people of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes at the preaching of Jonah and yet "here (today) there is greater than Jonah."
As we begin the season of Lent let us take seriously the message of repentance for our sins: "0 my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because I have offended thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen."