Jesus’ hosts in Emmaus realized their hearts had burned within them as they listened to Jesus open the scriptures to them. And Jesus opens the minds of his followers to understand the scriptures in preparation for his parting from them to ascend to heaven. He says that repentance in his name will be preached to all the nations.

I don’t hear much preaching on repentance these days. What’s more, I rarely preach about it myself. While I personally repent, admitting to God and others how sorry I am, I preach repentance only during Lent or when an assigned scripture calls for it. I do not bring it up on my own. Am I not following the Holy Spirit’s promptings?

When I hear a person in power violate a value I hold dear, I sign a petition or send an email calling their attention to the problematic words or actions. Yet I had never called for the person to repent. Could this be the time? I wondered whether a politician or his or her staff member would even read my plea for repentance. Would they care that I had made it?

Even as I entertained these questions, I realized they were distractions from the real issue because I sensed that I should call for repentance. Immediately I began to rationalize: Doesn’t that indicate I am judging their behavior? Who am I to judge? Still, there were vulgarities, bad judgment, misuse of resources, and blindness to what is true, good, and needed for the common good being blocked from any but the very richest. There were lies, inhumane treatment and policies, and callous disregard for the dignity of the human person. So yes, I have written to political figures about these issues. And I have asked for their change of heart—because that is what the Spirit prompts me to do.

Dear God, help me trust you to open my eyes, heart, and mind to repent and to call for repentance when that is your will. Show me the repentance you want preached. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 17:6-19

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Lectionary Week
May 10–16, 2021
Scripture Overview

Scripture tells us that in our lives, especially in our spiritual lives, we need to distinguish what is true from what is false. The psalmist admonishes us to follow the truth of God and flee wicked ideas. This week we read about Judas, who did not follow that advice—with disastrous results. In Acts, the apostles seek to replace Judas with a witness to Jesus who has not been led astray. In John’s Gospel, Jesus bemoans the loss of Judas and prays that his followers will cling to his words. First John reminds us that God’s words are trustworthy above all. They bear witness to the life that comes through Christ, whose legitimacy was confirmed by his ascension into heaven.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Acts 1:1-11. How do you experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? How does the Spirit guide you?
Read Psalm 1. Who are the people around you who exhibit the strength and fruitfulness of those described in this psalm?
Read 1 John 5:9-13. How have you come to know the testimony of God in your heart? How do you live differently as a result?
Read John 17:6-19. What helps you to sense God’s presence and protection in your life?

Respond by posting a prayer.