Each one of us was born into Original Sin, meaning that we’re prone to the human condition of mistakes, slip-ups, and misdeeds. Let’s face it: none of us are perfect. Regardless of how hard we try to achieve perfection, imperfection permeates every part of our lives—our relationships, our work, and our finances can all falter due to personal mistakes.
Mistakes are a natural part of our lives. They happen. However, most of us feel a sense of guilt or embarrassment when our mistakes are discovered. We don’t want to acknowledge our imperfections even though everyone knows they exist. It’s much easier to point the finger at someone else rather than take responsibility for our own faults.
In Sunday’s reading we heard Acts 2:38, where Peter tells the apostles to “‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” True change—whether that change means something as small as remembering to make the bed in the morning or something as significant as managing our finances in a more responsible manner—comes from within.
The word “repent” has the same root as the word “pensive;” this root is the Latin verb “pensare,” which can mean to ponder, weigh heavily, or consider. Thus, when we repent, we weigh our actions heavily in our own minds; we consider our actions thoroughly and make a conscious decision to correct them. Any change we want to make in our lives requires this deep pondering and conscious decision and often requires the help of God.
True repentance and change is permanent and takes a great deal of control and discipline, but we are never alone. Through our repentance, we accept the assistance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who are there to lighten our load.
When it comes to changing, if we think that others have to change instead of us, we are not truly repentant. So, the next time you want to point the finger, and play the blame game, take a moment to stop and think. When you blame others you give up the your power to change. The road to change may be a long one, but Jesus will be there with us every step of the way. With his help you can be inspired by the possibilities rather than burdened by the blame.