Thought of the Day August 2, 2021 The Sacrament of Reconciliation

By 3:08 PM

For the past two weeks we have reflected on the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. This week we will look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the following. 

1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.

It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.

1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.

It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."

It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God." He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."

This Sacrament is another sign of God's merciful love. God not only gives each of us a chance to be reconciled and adopted in the saving waters of Baptism, but, knowing that we are struggling sinners, he gives us the grace of reconciliation each time we sin after Baptism. The reason it involves a new response to the grace of conversion is because, by sinning we have turned our hearts away from God for self gratification. To be reconciled back to God we need to have a change of heart and turn back to the Lord as our beginning and end. To experience the full effect of the grace of forgiveness, we need to have more than a superficial return to the Lord. It needs to be a conscientious return of our whole heart to the Lord. Is this what happens when we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Or is it a temporary wiping the slate clean? 

The dimension that we may fully think about is that not only are we reconciled to God, whom we have offended by sin, but we are also reconciled with the faith Community which we became part of in Baptism. Sin affects both our relationship with God and our relationship with one another. There is no private sin. Every sin is communal.  Remember this the next time you approach this Sacrament.

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