Have you ever looked at the actions of another and deemed them to be wrong or sinful? Or thought to yourself, “thank God I never did anything like that?” What is your purpose in such thinking? Is it to place yourself above another? Or perhaps just a way for you to judge yourself as “not being that bad”? In the Gospel reading for today, just such a thing is happening. Jesus is asking, do you think that the hardships others experience are a result of their sin being greater than yours? And his answer to them was, “By no means!” And Jesus did not say this just once, but gave several examples and warned that we must REPENT or we would perish. This is our call to consider this week; to prepare ourselves to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Do I in thought or word condemn others for their sinfulness while not admitting my own? Do I sugar-coat my actions or attempt to justify them? Have I ignored my relationship with God or my responsibility to attend Mass or to pray daily? We are all sinners, we must accept that fact and in doing so, we must REPENT! To repent is to recognize our personal need for forgiveness, to regret our sin, to be contrite. The Catholic Church provides for us a sacrament that offers us the opportunity to “come clean”, to admit our wrong doing and ask for God’s forgiveness. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a gift to us as Christians for it reconciles us to God and takes away the destructive effects of sin in our lives. We need only to come with the intent to honestly and openly name our sinfulness, and with a heart open to receiving God’s love, admit we are sorry for how we have failed. In the sacrament we engage in confession, contrition, receive absolution and commit to satisfaction: penance, reforming our lives, making amends. The Sacrament of Reconciliation for many is difficult to approach. Perhaps it has been many years since your last confession. If so, it is time. It is time to come home to God who is always ready to receive the sinner and pardon their sin.
Do not let your guilt keep you away. All sin, no matter how serious is forgivable. Come and let your troubled heart be made new again. Our Lenten Parish Reconciliation is Thursday, March 28th, at 6:30 p.m. There will be additional priests here for confessions. Families; please bring your children to receive this gift of healing. Have a blessed week,