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Fr. Bob at pulpit during Easter Vigil

The Goal: Being Fully Conformed

The goal of the disciple of Jesus is to be conformed fully to the Father's will, to approach more and more closely to the kingdom of God. Jesus always did the will of the Father. He said: "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me." (John 4:34) The fullness of the kingdom was present in him. Though tempted like us, Jesus, the very Son of God, was not bogged down by sin the way we are. (Hebrews 4:15) For us, the process of getting integrated into the kingdom of God involves, among other things, getting away from sin. That means repentance.

Repentance is a turning away from sin and a turning to God. It will mean undoing patterns of thought and behaviour which have been developed, perhaps over a long period of time. It may mean a whole change of lifestyle. We will have to appropriate to ourselves the new, often very different, patterns and lifestyle of the kingdom of God. The world's ways will no longer do. 

Repentance is not just a single, distinct act, although it will certainly include many such distinct acts. It is more of an attitude, a way of relating to God and to others as well. 

"Repentance is not part of the world's agenda, not popular at all. It does not get a good press. And yet, it is the initial, essential, and introductory attitude or stance in the kingdom of God. It is both the entry point and the only way to stay in."

Jesus seems to reinforce this reality. The first recorded statement of his public ministry was: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the good news." (Mark 1:15)

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