The Reality of Confession
In today’s first reading we heard that the people esteemed the apostles, but they were afraid to join them. How many of us esteem the Lord, but keep a distance because we are afraid to approach Him in the tribunal of mercy, the confessional? We need to conquer our fear and come before the Lord in His humble, merciful, human form working through Fr. Mike in the confessional.
Our Lord said to His apostles in the Gospel reading, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.” What a profound and beautiful statement! We can actually know that our sins are forgiven when we hear the words of absolution in confession.
If we are willing to humble ourselves to come before a priest, who acts in the very Person of Christ, and confess our sins, we will have fulfilled this promise of the forgiveness of sins. Our hearts will be at peace and we will no longer be afraid.
Salvation begins now as we are released from the bonds of fear and anxiety by the forgiveness of our sins. After we die, there is no repentance and forgiveness of sin. This is the time of mercy.
We do have responsibility before God. There will be a judgment. There is a hell. Human life can either turn out right or come to disaster. Do not be afraid; come to the Lord, confess your sins, receive His mercy, be joined to Him by the bonds of grace and be at peace in His presence. Doubt no longer, but believe.