Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek: Without ‘Metanoia’ We Perish

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*Image: The Penitent St. Peter (Reuiger Petrus) by Jusepe de Ribera, between 1600 and 1649 [Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna]

By Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, The Catholic Thing, March 20, 2022

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, STD has been a priest of the Diocese of Austin since 1985 and is currently pastor of Assumption parish in the city of West. His studies were in Dogmatics with a focus on Ecclesiology, Apostolic Ministry, Newman, and Ecumenism.


Fr. Timothy V. VaverekJesus insists in today’s Gospel (Lk 13:1-9) that, without repentance (metanoia), we “will all perish” and be “cut down” like barren fig trees. He’s not threatening us or merely requiring us to reject sin. He’s lovingly calling us to metanoia as the only way to share His life, bear fruit for the kingdom, and be saved.

Despite His urgency, we’ve widely failed to proclaim and foster metanoia as He intends. This has severely compromised our Christian life and witness, as evident in the declining faith and practice, repeated ecclesial crises, and ineffective renewal programs of the last half-century. Our failure to understand and embrace metanoia is depriving us of the abundant life Christ desires for us.

Metanoia is Greek for “after-thought.” It signifies a fundamental and enduring change of mind, heart, and perception that produces a new way of seeing and relating to God, others, and the world. The Latin translation penitentia gave us the English words “penitence” and “repentance.” …