There is a story of how King Frederick II, an Eighteenth-Century King of Prussia, was visiting a prison in Berlin. He was going from inmate to inmate, and every one of them was trying to prove how they had been unjustly imprisoned.

They all proclaimed their innocence, except one. That one prisoner was sitting quietly in a corner, while all the rest protested their innocence. Seeing him sitting there oblivious to everything else that was going on, the King walked over to him and said, “Son, why are you in here?”

He said, “Armed robbery, your Honor,”

The King said, “Are you guilty?”

He said, “Sire, I am guilty, and I deserve to be here.”

The King then gave an order to the guard and said, “Release this guilty man — I do not want him corrupting all these innocent people!” — Today’s Gospel is Jesus’ call to repentance.

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari