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Thursday. [II Thess. 2:13–3:5; Luke 13:1–9] Pilate mingled the blood of Galileans with their sacrifices — the Lord said: except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; the tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people — the Lord again said: except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. This gives an understanding that when some misfortune befalls others, we must not reason about why it happened, but rather look at ourselves and examine whether there are any sins on us deserving temporary punishment for the instruction of others, and hasten to wipe them out with repentance. Repentance cleanses sin and removes the cause which attracts a catastrophe. While a person is in sin, an axe is laid to the root of the tree of his life, ready to cut it down. It does not cut because it waits for repentance. Repent and the axe will be taken away, and your life will flow to its end in the natural order of things; if you do not repent — expect to be cut down. What man can know whether he will live to the next year? The parable about the fruitless fig tree shows that the Saviour prays that Divine justice spare each sinner in the hopes that he will repent and bring forth good fruits. But it sometimes happens that Divine justice no longer hears the intercessions, and perhaps He will only agree to allow somebody one more year to remain alive. How do you know, sinner, that you are not living your last year, your last month, day and hour?