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Need for reconciliation

Christopher Lushis | Tuesday, March 16, 2010

While at home for a week, I heard more about my local bishop’s initiative to bring more people to Reconciliation during this Lenten season. Reconciliation is the foundation for coming into greater unity with Christ. For those who have been away from the Church for many years, receiving this Sacrament can help them begin a new journey to more actively participate in their faith. For those who have followed the weekly routine of going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion, a strong examination of conscience and participation in Reconciliation can revive one’s desire to act out the words heard on Sunday mornings that often fade from mind in days or hours. The Catholics who hesitate to participate in Reconciliation because they do not feel the need to confess their sins to another person, preferring to deal directly with God on their own, miss the point of the Sacrament.

Before his ascension into Heaven, Jesus commanded his apostles to preach the Good News of his salvation and gave them the authority to forgive sins in his name. Reconciliation is a continuation of Jesus’ words as fulfilled by the priests throughout the world. While many people may fear Reconciliation because of a disapproving reaction from the priest, they should view the Sacrament in a different way: Priests are obliged to look with kindness on those who have been compelled to confess their sins. Those who have had uncomfortable experiences of Reconciliation before should still try to find it in their heart to pledge a renewed commitment to God, even it if means taking the time to find a priest that they are comfortable with. While priests may be human, their ordination has granted them the authority to act as examples of Christ who seek to bring people back to God and bestow the forgiveness to those who seek it. The center of the Mass, the Eucharist, is enhanced when Catholics participate after receiving Reconciliation. The entire Catholic community benefits from an increased push for more confessions.

Christopher Lushis
St. Edward’s Hall
March 12