2004-04-08 / Religion



Dear Friends:

This Holy Week I want to make a very personal and direct appeal to all to come to confession if you have not been recently. Many of us have seen the The Passion of the Christ and were moved by the movie’s depiction of Christ’s sufferings. Perhaps the film gave you a new insight to the majesty and mystery of God’s infinite mercy and love. I hope it did. But even if the film had that effect, God’s mercy and forgiving love is beyond anything we poor, limited human beings could ever imagine. The mercy of God is simply beyond our comprehension and it is in the sacrament of confession that that we experience the greatness and richness of God’s forgiveness.

It is unfortunate that many stay away from confession because of crippling fear or some other reason. The sacrament has not been practiced the way it should be by Catholic people and that is a spiritual tragedy. Confession is one of those things that is a matter of faith. We go to confession because we as Catholics know that Jesus established it as the great means of pardon and healing. We know that Jesus Christ is in every confessional waiting for us so He can reach out and give us the gift of His mercy. Whenever I go into a Catholic Church and see the confessionals, I see them as standing invitations to share in the gift of mercy that Christ wishes to give US.

It is a strange thing that sometimes we can concentrate more on our own sins and how stupid and silly they were instead of on the Heart of Jesus. At every moment of every day Christ calls out: "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Is. 1:18) This is a striking invitation from the Lord to forget the past and walk into the brightness and freedom that is the promise of a good confession. Everything can be changed and we all can become the people Jesus wants us to be.

Just think: A few moments in the confessional and your new life begins! The Sacred Heart of Jesus is waiting. Don’t Disappoint Him.

In Jesus and Mary,

Monsignor James M. McDonald

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