By Kathleen Bordo Crombie
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” ~ John 20:23
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of peace. However, many Catholics fear the confessional or have decided they don’t need to tell their sins to a priest. I know this well because I was one of those people. But after a powerful healing encounter with our merciful living God, I walked through the confessional door of mercy; it had been more than 30 years. Was I scared? Absolutely!
Did I tell my sins to a priest? I did! But I also came to understand that in the confessional, I’m confessing my sins directly to Jesus; Jesus simply works through the priest to forgive our sins.
Peace and Mercy
In today’s Gospel, the disciples were huddled in a locked room out of fear of the Jews after the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus appeared in their midst and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
This is where Jesus gave his disciples the authority, in His name, to forgive sins. We can point to this passage to confirm when and where Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the sacrament of peace and mercy.
Ocean of Graces
God pours out His unfathomable Divine Mercy on this Divine Mercy Sunday in an extraordinary way. Jesus said to St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy,
“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day, the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.” (Diary 699)
Run, Don’t Walk
My Sisters in Christ run to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation today. Confess your sins to Jesus through His holy priest, and experience God’s overflowing peace and mercy. Don’t let this amazing gift be labeled “return to sender.” It doesn’t matter how long it has been since you’ve gone to Confession. Go! Jesus, I Trust in You!
Lord, let me soak in your Divine Mercy today and receive your ocean of graces and forgiveness of sins. Thank you for your love, peace, and this great gift of Divine Mercy!
Call to Action
To receive total remission for all sins ever committed, go to Mass and receive the Eucharist on the Feast of Divine Mercy; go to confession and repent of all your sins; trust in Jesus, The Divine Mercy; venerate the image of The Divine Mercy; and extend mercy to others through our words and actions.
“The Icon of Jesus, The Divine Mercy pictured was written by Kathleen Bordo Crombie.”
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