Pastor’s Letter, March 26th, 2017: Sacrament of Reconciliation
This coming Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm our parish will be having
its Lenten Penance service. Similar to the Advent Penance service
there will be a brief Liturgy of the Word and examination of conscience to help
the congregation prepare for individual confession. As with the Advent Penance
service we have invited eight priests from our area to come and help us
with confessions. In Advent we were finished with confessions in under an
Lent is the time to encounter Christ. There is no better way to encounter Christ
than in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament God’s love, mercy
and forgiveness are extended to us through the instrumentality of the priest.
There is no sin beyond Jesus’ reach of forgiveness. The parable Jesus told of
the Prodigal Son is the picture and reality of what mercy and forgiveness look
like, and how much joy God feels at our repentance and conversion.
Jesus does not want us to carry around the guilt and burden of our sins and failures.
There is no greater peace than to hear the words of absolution that the
priest gives at confession: God, the Father of mercies, through the death and
resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy
Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit +
I will be instituting a slight change before the beginning of Mass. The sign of
peace in the liturgy is when we greet those around us with the sign of peace.
The greeting before mass is therefore somewhat redundant since the greeting
will take place in the context of the liturgy after the Our Father. The sign of
Peace is a sign of greeting, mutual communion and charity before we receive
Communion. Therefore we will drop the greeting before Mass.