Week of January 29, 2023

Week of January 29, 2023
Fr Aidan Peter Writes:

Fr. Aidan Writes:

This last week, we have had the great joy of celebrating the first reconciliations of our children in grade two at our school and those at the same level in the Faith Formation Program. As I reminded them at the time, this was their first reconciliation of many they will be able to have in their lives ahead; our God is such a forgiving God. Also, I spoke to them about the nature of this sacrament; it is about forgiveness so much more than it is about our sins. I do not hesitate to assure that God is not interested in our sins; that would make him a prurient God and we can fall into that trap all too easily ourselves. Also, we can be far too interested in other people’s sins rather than our own! So what is a sin? It can be defined legalistically as an action or thought process against the divine law of God. In the New Testament, the word used is Hamarta (- ano in the plural). This essentially means to miss the mark. This is helpful because legalistic approaches are rather fatalistic (the wages of sin is death) and need judgement for resolution. The New Testament use of Harmarta more readily allows for change, repentance (what Jesus preached in last Sunday’s Gospel), growth and reestablishing a right relationship with God and each other. My preferred name for the prince of evil is the name used in Jeremiah, “The Spoiler”; the one who comes and spoils our intentions and behaviors so that we miss the mark. Here we can see how this allows us the hope and strength to rely on the inexhaustible forgiveness of God. Our God is interested in us as his sons or daughters, rather than in our sins. The Spoiler is interested in our sins because his game is to use us to get one over on God. The words of absolution point this out, “Father of all mercies, through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, you sent the Holy Spirit into the world for the forgiveness of sins…”

So avail yourselves of this great sacrament of forgiveness, love, affection and growth. The hardest part is cross- ing the threshold of the confessional! Nobody likes admitting they were wrong. When we do this before God, he loves us through his forgiveness into a stronger relationship with him.

God bless, Fr. AP

May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,

Fr Aidan Peter