Confession – A Help to Live Our Lives with the Joy of Jesus Christ.

St. John Bosco Reconciliation Room

St. John Bosco Reconciliation Room Using the Screen

On Monday evening a number of children at Saint John Bosco Parish experienced the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus in the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. The excitement of these children should be a challenge for all of us to remember our need to encounter the forgiveness of the Lord in that sacrament.

 The Church refers to the family as the “domestic Church” and tells parents that, under the direction of their pastors, they are the “primary educators of their children in the ways of the faith.” Parents pass on faith to their children in a variety of ways every day. Their love for each other. Their love for their children. Their own prayer life and relationship with the Lord. The values they embrace. The “sacredness” of things in their home – a crucifix, religious artwork, family conversations at the dinner table, and what they watch on TV. And since none of us are perfect, even the ways arguments are resolved and hurts healed are teaching moments of faith.

 The parents of these children who experienced the forgiveness of the Lord on Monday evening came together in late summer to reflect on this sacrament and began a period of formal catechetical formation for this celebration.  They were reminded of the charge given to them on the day of their child’s baptism.  “This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ – and is to walk always as a child of the light. Keep the flame of faith alive in your child’s heart.”

Saint John Bosco Reconciliation Room Face to Face

Saint John Bosco Reconciliation Room Face to Face

 As these children were moving closer to the day they would celebrate this sacrament I took them on a tour of our reconciliation rooms (confessionals). They were excited to see where this sacrament would be celebrated – and curious as to how that light comes on that enables those who wait in line to know when it is time to come in. I won’t soon forget the comment of one child. After explaining that they could sit down in the chair iin front of the priest to talk with him or could do that kneeling behind the screen, a child looked at me and asked, “Why would anyone want to talk to you behind a screen? I want to look you in the eye and say I’m sorry because I am saying that to Jesus through you.” All that I could say was, “Yes, you’ve got it – and the priest will be able to look into your eyes and say that you have been forgiven.”

 Pope Francis has reminded us that Jesus never tires of forgiving us – and that we must never forget that. On November 13 he told the people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, “Baptism opens the doors of the church to us. But also, when the door starts closing a bit because of our weakness and sins, confession reopens it.” He then said that we all must “Go forth joyfully. Because life must be lived with the joy of Jesus Christ. That is a grace from the Lord.” I encourage you to take the time during these Advent days to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to experience the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus in the sacrament of Reconciliation – and live your life in the joy of Jesus Christ.

 Question – What do you think about Pope Francis’ invitation to see Confession as an opportunity to renew the grace of your baptism?

December 11th, 2013 |