As I was reading over the Sunday Gospel from St. Luke, these verses jumped out at me. Check them out:
“I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”
“But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
The common thread here is that Heaven goes nuts whenever we repent. There is rejoicing and celebration every time one of us here below asks for forgiveness for our sins. For me it made me consider, how often do I actually do this? How many acts of contrition do I make? How often do I use the Holy Sacrament Jesus left us when he said to the Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them”?
Why is this the case? Consider these three points:
1. Believe it or not, God and all the angels and saints actually care about us. They see us as members of their family. When they see us sincerely want to change our ways and leave behind our sins, it really makes them happy. Repentance makes us want to be better people and Heaven loves that!
2. Repentance brings us closer to God. Each time we repent all of the obstacles to God in our life are removed. This is why we sometimes hear people say that the closest they felt to God was after owning up to their sins, asking for forgiveness, and allowing God to take them away and give them a fresh start. So, Heaven rejoices to see us closer to God.
3. More repentance = better world. Repentance keeps us humble, it makes us more understanding towards others, and it removes the burden of sin. Consequently, we are better people to be around and this helps others to be better too.
Repentance is essential for growing in the Christian life. It helps us, makes us better people, and bring us closer to God. On top of that, it causes Heaven to go nuts in rejoicing and celebration. So if you want to give a little ‘happy hour’ to our friends in Heaven, do a little repenting today.