A reminder to all our listeners and readers that next week is the first Sunday of Advent, Year B in the lectionary cycle so we will be using the gospel of Mark for Sunday readings for the next twelve months.
Of course for English speaking Catholics, next Sunday sees the full introduction of the revised translation of the Roman Missal, the third since the second Vatican Council authorised that the liturgy could be in the vernacular. For those of you that may have missed our show on the revised translation, check out our Revised Translation Page where we have resources and links for you to read and listen to.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
|Source: Return of the Prodigal Son - Rembrandt|
Lorraine begins the series by reflecting on the Sacrament of Reconciliation (a.k.a. Confession and Penance). The following are some notes and thoughts for reflection on the sacrament but we would encourage you to listen to the podcast.
We would encourage people to go back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation especially as part of your Advent preparation for Christmas. It doesn't matter how long it has been or even if you forget how it is done. When you go in, tell the priest it has been a while and say you might need some guidance on how to do things. No one is going to pass judgement but rather it will be a case of "Welcome home again".
If it has been a while, you might these links to the examination of conscience may be helpful in your preparation for receiving the sacrament (we will be adding more over the next couple of days if you don't find any that appeal to you check back):
What is the Sacrament called?
- Conversion: it “makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father” (CCC 1423; cf. Mk 1:15; Lk 15:18)
- Penance: it “consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction” (CCC 1423)
- Confession: we confess our sins to the priest and in doing so we are ‘confessing’ (acknowledging and praising) our trust in God’s mercy and holiness (cf. CCC 1424)
- Forgiveness: “since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent ‘pardon and peace’" (CCC 1424; formula of absolution)
- Reconciliation: it reconciles the sinner with God because it imparts the merciful love of God to the sinner (cf. CCC 1424). “He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: ‘Go; first be reconciled to your brother.’ (Mt 5:24)” (CCC 1424)
Why do we confess our sins to a priest?
Hail Redeemer, King Divine,
But for many people, the idea of Kingship of Jesus is somewhat alien. Jesus was of the royal house of David born in the royal city but he was born in a stable and laid in a manager. He was a King who entered into the Holy City - Jerusalem - through the royal gate to the acclamations of the people not in a military procession or from the back of a state coach but on the back of a humble donkey. He was enthroned not on some fancy cathedra but rather on a gibbet outside the city walls in the midst of the city dump, proclaimed mockingly as King as he died opening his arms on the cross to embrace the world and all of humanity.
He came as a Servant Leader as he explained to the disciples at the Last Supper when he washed their feet. We are all called to be servants to one another, assisting and helping in fraternal love and friendship. Where leaders lord it over us in civil or religious spheres truly then we have lost our allegiance to the true king.
He redefined what it means to be a leader amongst those that dare to call themselves his followers reminding us that the first will be last and the last first.
In our lives today, do we make the effort to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned? Be it those who are in physical need but what about those hungry for a consoling word of recognition of their humanity and dignity as people; those whose very souls and minds are ripped naked and torn from the insults and humiliation they experience, the sick of mind and spirit, those imprisoned in the expectations of society as well as those incarcerated by mental illness and stigma? Have we not only assisted them, have we gone past our comfort zone to really be present to those in need, really aware of them as the face of Christ for us in this world?
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
- Blue Eyed Ennis has a thought provoking reflection on Christ the King.
Saints of the Week