From the Pastor’s Desk – March 26, 2017

In the first week of Lent we re-introduced the diocesan wide Lenten initiative “The Light is On For You.” Each church in our diocese is open on Wednesday nights during Lent from 6 – 8 pm for those who wish to participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession or Penance, whichever words resonates in you. I like the word reconciliation meaning that we want to reconcile ourselves, first in our hearts, second with others and always reconcile with God who holds us in such high esteem.
Each of us learned about and celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation at an early age, maybe at an age too young to fully appreciate the power of this healing sacrament. When we were seven or eight years old, our sins were minor, e.g., disobeying our parents, saying bad words, hitting our brothers and sisters, and once in a great while missing Mass. We were introduced to the sacrament to know Jesus Christ is always there for us. Jesus is a like a light illumining our paths and showing us the way to come home.
Tuesday of the 2nd week of Lent; Isaiah the prophet speaking for God, challenges the people to “put away your misdeeds before my eyes, cease doing evil.” This is a precursor to the sacrament of reconciliation, turning away from sin and turning towards God. The prophet goes on, “learn to do the good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, and defend the widow.”
In other words turning back to God is saying more than “I’m sorry” or as we often say “sorry.” Turning back to God means that we are open to receiving his restorative, healing grace that wipes away our sin, so that even “though your sins may be like scarlet, they may become white as snow.” When we admit our sins to God through the priest in the sacrament of reconciliation, we are forgiven, restored, made whole so that we, as Matthew Kelly says, can “be the best version of ourselves” with God’s grace and love. We make a firm purpose of amendment not to sin and then hear the power of the words of absolution as the priest prays ….“I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
When we put our selfishness aside and consider the needs of others, doing good for others, helping the poor through Operation Rice Bowl. We are becoming new people in Christ.
When we take the risk of coming before Christ in the sacrament of reconciliation, we find a new sense of peace in our hearts. We can re-discover the healing power of God’s merciful love. As a result, there is new meaning and purpose in our lives.
The light is on for you to experience God’s healing, abiding merciful love through confession. Don’t wait until the last minute to avail yourself of this precious sacrament. Welcome Home! Welcome to receive God’s healing mercies! If you weren’t able to make the parish communal Reconciliation Service on Saturday morning, March 25th, there is still time for the sacrament of reconciliation on Wednesday evening March 29th, April 5th or 12th or you can go to one of our neighboring parishes on a Wednesday. Happy Lent!
Lenten Blessings,
Father Larry

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