Jesus didn't tell us to look on the past, and repent. He asked us to look to the future by turning our thinking around.

Saturday, 10/22/11

Today’s Gospel brings up one of my pet peeves. It quoted Jesus as saying, “If you do not repent you will all perish.” What I don’t like about that is that it misquotes what St. Luke quoted Jesus as saying. Luke used the Greek word meta-noiete. With meta meaning “around,” and noiete meaning “thinking.” Luke, following Mark, quoted Jesus as saying we would perish if we did not turn our thinking around.

That is different from repenting. We turn our thinking around by preparing for a better future. We repent by punishing ourselves for past failings. That’s not what Jesus asked for. He couldn’t see any advantage in our sitting around crying about the past. He wanted us to turn our thinking toward doing better in the future.

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