The Season of Lent is a wonderful time to return to God and rekindle our faith. It is a time of repentance. St. John the Baptist, the great prophet who prepared the people for the coming of Jesus, said:
“Produce fruits in keeping with repentance.”~Luke 3:8
What are the fruits of true repentance?
The first step of repentance is to make the decision to turn away from sin. The next step is to follow through by striving to actually amend our lives by God’s grace. This stage is when little by little, the fruits of repentance begin to develop and mature. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he outlines some of the fruits of true repentance.
“22 Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life … 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth … Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.28
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own …
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”~Ephesians 4:22-32
May we all have a Lenten season in which, by the grace of God, we amend our lives to produce fruits in keeping with repentance!