The Sacrament of Confession – of reconciling us with God and others – is a beautiful Sacrament of the Church for every Catholic to receive the supernatural Grace of God to live Godly lives. Yet, it has become the trend among Catholics to just attend Penitential Services twice a year – and that is enough…often without deep reflection to truly repent, forgive and reconcile. Is this sufficient to remember all the sins that creates barriers in our lives with God?
The third video of the 7-part DIVINE LENTEN 2015 WEEKLY VIDEO REFLECTION SERIES at the top of this post is “GO AND RECONCILE! THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION” is a heart-piercing wake-up call for every Catholic by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., Director of Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala, India who reminds us - “On Good Friday. Jesus took all our sins, all the powers of sin and He paid the price of our sins in His Blood. Jesus dispelled the darkness of sin in the splendour of the Glory of the Resurrection…and then He came and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ It is good for us to know this – if there is no peace and there is always quarrels and conflicts in your family, your parish or in your society, be sure there is sin somewhere deep down. We need to offer all that sin to God for His Peace to flow into us.”
Why is the Sacrament of Confession so vital for the growth of our personal Catholic faith to have a real and deep relationship with Jesus? Fr. Augustine explains with Spirit-filled clarity, ”Jesus sent the disciples to the ends of the world to give people peace, but to give it with a sign – ‘Forgive their sins.’ Jesus established the sacred Sacrament of Priesthood for this purpose. Jesus gave this authority to His Disciples and over the centuries and generations, this authority of “Apostleship” is passed on by the laying of hands on priests and bishops who are the successors of the Apostles. Jesus is telling every priest - to me - that when someone comes with a disturbed heart or an enslavement to sin, I should give this person peace by leading him/her to the Sacrament of Confession and looking into the person’s eyes, I must tell him/her, ‘In the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, I absolve you of your sins. A ‘sign’ is given - a sign of Forgiveness. And only then are we all sure that our sins are taken away.”
Fr. Augustine passionately exhorts every Catholic that it is time to shake off our apathy of sin in our lives - “Often we can become self-righteous. We can bring arguments to be rooted in hatred, anger and sin. The Lord is challenging you my brother/my sister to become humble as Jesus became humble and obedient even to the Cross! Jesus, strike the root of pride and self-righteousness in my heart and give me a heart like You, Lord – a heart beating in love and mercy; a heart that is able to feel the pain of others and to go and get reconciled with them.”
“No reason justifies me not to go for Confession. No reason justifies me to keep anger against any one. Jesus, give me Your Mind and Heart that God the Father put in Your Body – a heart to be concerned about everyone!”
Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala, India, run by the priests of the Vincentian Congregation of India, is the largest Catholic retreat centre in the world. Retreats in English and 6 Indian languages are conducted every week of the year.
Next Sunday, Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C., Director of Divine Retreat Centre Somersby, NSW, Australia, will be sharing the Word of God on "WHO IS GOD TO ME?”
Please do share this Divine Lenten 2015 Weekly Video Reflection series with your loved ones, prayer groups and friends. May this sacred season of Lent convict our hearts and mind to truly live for Jesus!