Next Saturday the 28th, our children in the first communion program will be making their first reconciliations. This is a big step for them along their path to become closer in their lives to Jesus, their Lord of hope and forgiveness. Do you remember your first confession? For some it was a strange time of going into the box / the confessional and having to say our list of naughtiness out aloud to a man behind the screen. For others it was a great moment of realizing that we should sometimes ‘fess up’ and be honest before authority and that it makes you grow.
That last point is important for us to remember. The sacraments are primarily there to help us grow in our love of God and each other. We receive so much from them; God’s grace, his favor. For many going to the sacrament of reconciliation is a nightmare because they have focused on several erroneous thoughts; firstly they don’t like having to admit that they have been wrong (who does), they also may think that the priest may be shocked at them and punish them, and thirdly they just hate the thought of saying a profound ritualized “Sorry”. So please, please, please remember the positive feelings at the end of a good confession; how it is a relief to be rid of sins, how the moment of introspection was good, allowing you a real sense of honesty to prevail and the sense of being loved by the forgiving grace of God even though we might think we do not deserve it. A humbling gift.
One of the precepts of the Church is avail yourself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year, preferably in the Lent/Easter season (which is all about forgiveness). Why don’t you give it a go as if for the first time? You will experience a warm welcome and the abiding grace of the Lord, for he loves you unconditionally.
God bless you and your families and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter CJ