Sunday, January 23, 2011

Metanoia: Matthew 3: 1-12


If you read the first 12 verses of Matthew 3, you'll see some version of the word "repent" 3 different times.  John's very first word in the gospel of Matthew, in fact, is "Repent." It's the same proclamation Jesus will begin with in his ministry at 4:17: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

What do we mean by repentance today? I would say the term has two parts, or maybe steps: first, an acknowledgement of having done wrong; and second, a rejection of that pattern of behavior.  I repent my sins; I'm sorry for them, and I'm not living that way anymore. A renunciation.

In the original Greek, the word is "metanoia", and it meant a change of mind or heart about something.  In other words, a conversion, a transformation.  Not that different from repentance, really, but fuller.  It's not just a stepping back from a precipice, or climbing back up a hill. It involves us coming more fully into being, becoming more fully human.  

The paradox of sin: we're warned by Scripture, by family, by cautionary tales, don't do X or Y.  And sometimes we heed those words, and sometimes we don't.  But the actual experience of sinning -- and by this I mean not simply breaking an abstract rule, but experiencing the damage which that break causes in the lives of oneself and others -- becomes an occasion for self-awareness, humility and transformation.  So often it's when we see ourselves for what we really are that we actually are open to change.

Trying to be a good person after you've done wrong looks just the same as it did before, but it's different, because we're not the same people we were  before we did the deed and faced all that came with it.  We're different.  Metanoia: Change! Open!


5 comments:

M Russell said...

Father Jim,
Have you seen the little film, "Bella"? It is a great example of this concept of Metanoia, and I believe the production group even called themselves Metanoia. I found the movie to be excellent in so many ways, and highly recommend it.
Thanks for the post. Michelle

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

Thanks, Michelle! I have not seen the film, but I am going to add it to my list right now! Thanks for the suggestion!

Luxe Coach Purses said...

Burberry Factory, The North Face Outlet, Coach Outlet, Barbour Outlet, Abercrombie & Fitch Sale, Burberry Outlet, Chanel Outlet Online, Calvin Klein Clothes, Gucci Bags Outlet, Marc Jacobs Handbags, MCM Outlet, Gucci Shoes Outlet, Kate Spade Outlet, Louis Vuitton Outlet, Louis Vuitton Shoes Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger Outlet Store,Michael Kors Outlet Online,Moncler Clearance, North Face Jackets Clearance, North Clearace Outlet, Oakley Sunglaases Factory, Michael Kors Outlet, Prada Shoes Outlet, Polo Outlet Store, Polo Outlet Store, Ralph Lauren T Shirts, Longchamp Outlet, Coach Factory Outlet Online, Barbour Jackets Outlet Online, Beats By Dre Outlet, Ralph Lauren UK, Ugg Boots Outlet, Nike Jordan Shoes,Coach Store OnlineMoncler Jackets Outlet Online, Polo Outlet Online,Salvatore Ferragamo Outlet,Tommy Hilfiger Outlet,North Face Jackets Clearance,Ugg Boots Clearance,Tory Burch Handbag Outlet,Uggs Boots Outlet,Discount Ugg Bootshttp://www.newoutletonlinemall.com/coachoutlet.html
http://www.zxcoachoutlet.com/coachoutletonline.html

Zheng junxai5 said...

2015-07-14 zhengjx
jordan shoes uk
cheap soccer jerseys
retro jordans
kate spade bags
replica watches for sale
jordans for sale
nike blazer pas cher
michael kors handbags
true religion sale
fitflops shoes
ralph lauren polo shirts
oakley sunglasses
prada shoes
air max 2015
ray ban sunglasses
toms shoes for women
gucci borse
soccer outlet
ray bans
air force pas cher
longchamp le pliage
tory burch outlet online
longchamp pliage pas cher
michael kors
chaussure louboutin pas cher
mont blanc pens
burberry outlet online
abercrombie kids
coach factory
nike air force pas cher
cheap air max
ray ban outlet
ray-ban sunglasse
coach factory outlet
pandora jewelry stores
gucci belt
tory burch shoes
kate spade handbags
ray bans
nike blazer low pas cher

mao qiuyun said...

dansko outlet, http://www.dansko-shoes.us/
cyber monday 2015, http://www.blackfriday2015.in.net/
canada goose coats, http://www.canadagoose-coats.us.com/
tiffany outlet, http://www.tiffany-outlet.us.com/
tiffany jewellery, http://www.tiffanyjewelleryoutlets.co.uk/
cheap jordans, http://www.cheapjordanshoes.in.net/
wedding dresses, http://www.weddingdressesoutlet.co.uk/
soccer jerseys, http://www.soccerjerseys.us.com/
ray ban, http://www.occhiali-rayban.it/
hermes belt, http://www.hermesbelts.us/
chanel handbags, http://www.chanelhandbags-outlet.co.uk/
oakley sunglasses, http://www.oakleysunglassescanada.com/
hermes bags, http://www.hermesbags.co.uk/
cheap nfl jerseys, http://www.cheapnfljerseys.org/
nobis outlet, http://www.wellensteyn.com.co/
adidas wings, http://www.adidaswings.net/
coach outlet canada, http://www.coachoutletcanada.com.co/
louis vuitton outlet, http://www.louisvuittonoutletstore.name/
ugg boots, http://www.uggbootsclearance.in.net/
canada goose jackets, http://www.uggbootscheap.eu.com/
tory burch outlet, http://www.toryburch.in.net/
designer handbags, http://www.designerhandbags.us.com/
nike huarache, http://www.nikeairhuarache.org.uk/
timberland boots, http://www.timberlandboots.name/
louis vuitton handbags, http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.org.uk/
nike outlet store, http://www.nikeoutletstore.us/
ed hardy clothing, http://www.edhardy.us.com/
ralph lauren, http://www.poloralphlaurenoutlet.it/
ugg boots, http://www.uggboot.com.co/
1013maoqiuyun