All The Rivers Run

All The Rivers Run

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter and Reconciliation

In our church, we are taught that the sacrament of penance is ‘a sacrament instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted”.

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

  1. He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
  2. He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
  3. He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.

Lent is a particular time for reflecting on our sins, and to be willing to come to the Lord to confess them, and to make amends.  It is also the time we look deep within ourselves, question ourselves, and a time we are called to make peace with our fellow man.  And just as the above three things are required to make peace with God, we are also called to follow the same formula for achieving peace with each other – including being ready to listen and make reparation for our errors.  For what applies with our Heavenly Father also applies to each other:  ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us’.  It is, therefore, only through us forgiving others that our Father will forgive us.  If we hold grudges and refuse to forgive others, we will be held accountable;  ‘For as you judge, so shall you be judged’. 

This Lent, our family completed a Lenten Study by Ann Voskamp, ‘Trail to the Tree’.  As always, Ann writes with simplicity, and in a style that is so gentle, yet so powerful.  So much of what she has written has resonated with all of us, and as we followed the trail to the tree, we realised that while it is true that out of death comes life, that forgiveness and reconciliation is always possible, no matter what. 

It is at these times that I am so thankful for the sacrament of reconciliation.  We have the opportunity, right now, to go to our priest and ask God for forgiveness.  This Lent, I have spent some wonderful moments with our local priest, both in discussion and in confession.  I know with confidence that God sees all, and offers us all forgiveness, if we are truly contrite and ready to turn our lives around to live as He asks us to.  To have such a wonderful sacrament available is truly a blessing.

This Easter, let us all work on reconciliation; with God of course, but firstly, with each other.  For if we cannot live side by side in this world, what makes us think we can do so in the next?  This Easter, let us try to live as Christ commanded, ‘To love one another’.  The world is so fractured, and there is so, so much suffering and pain.  Let us try, at least, to bring the body of Christ – His family - together, and to walk with each other for the Glory of God.

Have a wonderful, blessed Easter, and may peace be with you.  


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