A LENTEN MOMENT
It is not some religious act which makes a Christian what he or she is, but participation in the suffering of God in the life of the world. This is "metanoia." This being caught up into the messianic suffering of God in Jesus Christ takes a variety of forms in the New Testament. It appears in the call to discipleship, in Jesus's table fellowship with sinners, in conversions in the narrower sense of the word, in the act of the woman who was a sinner, an act which she performed without any specific confession of sin, in the healing of the sick, in Jesus's acceptance of children. The Centurion of Capernaum (who does not make any confession of sin) is held up by Jesus as a model of faith. There is nothing of religious asceticism here. The religious act is always something partial; faith is always something whole, an act involving the whole life. Jesus does not call us to a new religion but to a new life.
- Dietrech Bonhoeffer