MARCH 18, 2012
4th Sunday of Lent
“…So must the Son of man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
We look upon the crucifixion of Christ and we see the horrible consequences of our sins as well as the Mercy of God. God’s forgiveness is held out to us in Jesus Christ instituting for all people the Sacrament of Confession. There will be ample opportunity to go to the Sacrament of Confession during Holy Week. Please check your Holy Week schedule, mailed out to you this week. Let us trust the word’s of Jesus:
“If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Mt. 5:23-24 We offend Jesus our brother when we commit sins against God and others, especially mortal sins of which Jesus lovingly relates to us that we may know of God’s mercy in confession. (Specific mortal sins in parenthesis)
Jesus says, “Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart: acts of fornication (sex outside of a Christian Marriage), theft, murder (abortion, euthanasia), adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness (prejudice), deceit (harmful lies), sensuality (homosexual behavior, masturbation, contraception), envy, blasphemy (contradicting God and his Church), arrogance (assuming authority that one does not have), an obtuse spirit (not cooperating with others for the sake of the common good of life). All these evils come from within and render a man impure.” Mk. 7:21-23
Impurity on our soul at our death would prevent us from entering heaven. But praise be Jesus Christ who calls us especially in this season of Lent, to repent of our sins with sorrow, confess the kind and number of sins to a priest and make satisfaction by repairing the damage done by those sins. This can be done by prayers and giving to the poor both spiritual and material riches.
The Apostle James, inspired by the Holy Spirit writes this: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27 … (and again:) Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. …if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:16, 19-20
Let us trust in the Lord’s mercy by receiving this Sacrament of Confession with thankful hearts. No sin is so great that God’s love can’t take it away through his Sacrament of Confession. It is the certain path of humility and grace.
Father Thomas McCabe