“At that time, Jesus responded to the crowds, saying: ‘Those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!’” Luke 13:4-5

Am I more righteous than my own neighbor? Shall I boast that my sins are less numerous or less grave than others? Often, as we continue leading sinful lives, we make excuses like “I will repent later” and “I will have the opportunity to confess before death.” In doing so, we offend God with our presumption, and we certainly invite Hell to our doorstep by not repenting now.

Our Lord reminds us this Sunday that our fortune in this life is not directly proportional to the gravity of our sins. When Job was tested before the Lord, it was not a consequence of his sins, for Scripture tells us that he was found blameless and just. Likewise, are those who die of plague, accidents, or natural disaster punished for their sins more than we are? Our Lord reminds us today that accidents and heinous cruelty are inescapable consequences of our fallen world. Let us remind ourselves this Lent to be steadfast in prayer and penance, so that when death arrives at our doorstep, whether in calmness or calamity, we may be ready to face the Lord. “O most merciful God, help me to feel sorrow for my sins, and grant me the grace of final repentance and a happy death”

– Anonymous