April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
“Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” With these words St. Peter advises the Gentiles who are gathered outside the Temple in an area known as “Solomon’s Porch.” Of course, his advice is also applicable to us right here and now.
As mentioned previously the word “repent” means more than we normally may conclude. For us “repent” may simply mean to “be sorry.” Peter’s meaning is that we need to repent by “turning our lives around,” by changing completely. That is more of a challenge for us, to be sure. This kind of “change” is closely associated with the idea of stewardship.
Stewardship requires a conversion of mind and heart. That is exactly the kind of “repentance” to which we are called by St. Peter. Salvation is more than just “wiping away” our sins. Salvation requires us to make dramatic changes in the way we live. If we do change, Peter assures us that our sins will be “wiped away.” That reference is to writing at that time; although we see ink today as being indelible, it was not in Peter’s time. Once something was written, it could still easily be wiped away. Only God can wipe away our sins, but the point is that if we sincerely change (repent) and seek conversion through God, our sins will truly be “wiped away.”