Repentance, a subject central to the Gospel, is often presented as the bitter medicine that we sinful humans are obliged to drink if we want to please God. This poignant and compelling work presents a strikingly refreshing view of human sinfulness, and of Christ’s unrelenting desire to heal us.
Speaking personally and directly to the reader, Jesus himself declares that all human anguish and confusion is the result of our refusal to fully embrace him. With overwhelming tenderness, he urges us to turn away from destructive behaviors and fanciful diversions and to “come back” to him, the only true source of life. In this way, repentance is portrayed not as a punitive action for a malevolent few, but as an enviable blessing for all, which inspires healing, hope, and joy.
Findikyan’s highly readable English translation of the original Classical Armenian makes this inspirational text available to many who would otherwise have no access to it. His extensive introduction places the work in its theological and historical context. He argues that the work is likely not from St. Ephrem, but is rather a medieval Armenian composition. In its captivating approach to the problem of sin and suffering, its robust Biblical foundation, and its surprisingly contemporary tone, Come Back to Me: An Appeal to Repentance is urgent business for all Christians today.
Michael Daniel Findikyan is the Bishop of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (New York) and professor of Liturgical Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. A student of the late Robert F. Taft, S.J., Bishop Daniel is the author of ten books and dozens of scholarly articles on aspects of the liturgy, history, and theology of the Armenian Church.