Father's Weekly Message
Advent Communal Penance - Sunday, December 17th
On Easter Sunday the Risen Lord appeared to his apostles and said, “Peace
be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. Then he breathed
on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are
forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained”.
“Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the
paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his church continue,
in the power of the Holy Spirit his works of healing and salvation.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church - 1421) The work of healing and
salvation is the purpose of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. In
our Baptism we received new life in Christ. But we carry this life in earthen
vessels and are inclined to sin again. We will always need God’s mercy and
Christ’s sacrament of forgiveness.
God is not stingy with his mercy. God loves to lavish his mercy on us. At
our slightest wish for forgiveness he rushes to us. Recall the marvelous scene
in the story of the prodigal son. The son hesitates to return because he is
fearful about how effective his confession will be. But everyday his Father
goes to a hilltop scanning the road of his son. When the boy returns and is
still a long way away, his father sees him and is full of compassion. He ran
to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
The prodigal son illustrates the full picture of conversion and repentance.
God is always running toward us with a heart full of mercy, which enables
our conversion and makes confession a joy. That is what the gift of this
Sacrament means. Real conversion is a grace from God. It is God who pulls
our hearts away from sin and draws us longingly to him. All converts testify
that their conversions belong God. They joyfully pray, “to the Lord alone
be the glory.” Jesus preached repentance and provided the Sacrament of
Reconciliation to respond to our need.
Sin weakens our relationship with God, one another and ourselves. Sacrament
of Reconciliation means we focus our attention on the multiple impact
of sin upon relationships and the ability of this particular ritual to heal
those severed or weakened bonds. We receive the special grace of the sacrament
which heals the wounds caused by sin.
Always Be Honest Proverbs 12:22
Count Your Blessing Psalms 34:1-3
Keep Your Promises Romans 4:21
Comfort One Another 1 Thessalonians 4:18
and above all...Love One Another 1 Peter 1:22
Be Supportive of one Another Acts 20:35
Be Kind and Tenderhearted Ephesians 4:32