Pastor’s Reflection for March 20, 2016
This week begins our Holy Week. We bring to mind and celebrate the great events of our salvation. This week’s Gospel reminds us of how the love of God ransomed us from the powers of sin and death and opened for us the way to eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven. You are strongly encouraged to attend the Holy Week services this week to refresh your knowledge of the great love and mercy of Jesus. Too many people are not only forgetful but ignorant of the story of our salvation. Because of this, many are not able to share the story of why Jesus came, the reason for Him dying on the cross and how it makes a difference in our lives.
Holy Week is also a good time to consider going to confession. During Holy Week, there will be many opportunities to do so. Pope Francis talks about going to confession. He asks us to share the experience of God’s mercy with others but wants us to first experience it ourselves in the confessional. He personally goes to confession every two weeks. Below are some comments Pope Francis has made about confession that I wish to share:
“Some say, ‘I confess only to God.’ Yes, you can say, ‘God forgive me,’ but our sins are also against our brothers and sisters, against the Church. This is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from our brothers and sisters and from the Church in the person of the priest.”
Embarrassment and shame is another reason people stay away from the confessional, which the pope sees as a normal feeling, but one that should be overcome. “Sometimes when you’re in line for confession you feel all sorts of things, especially shame, but when your confession is over, you’ll leave free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy – this is what’s beautiful about confession. Go to confession to clean up a bit. This is good for you.”
The schedule for our Holy Week services and for confessions are found in this week’s bulletin.
The collection on Easter will be for the health and retirement benefits for our priests in the Archdiocese. I thank you in advance for your generosity.
May this week, as we approach the great feast of Easter, bring us closer and more intimate in our relationship with Jesus.
May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.
God love you,