Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would hope that you would consider taking advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) sometime during this Lenten Season. Most, including myself, don’t necessarily “look forward” to celebrating this Sacrament, however, it is the one of the most liberating and joyful Sacraments to experience.

Let’s face it, we sin. We do things we shouldn’t do (look at videos, say words, allow our anger to seep into our actions, etc.) and we don’t do things we should do (share with those in need, lend a helping hand, nurture our relationships with God and others). Sin is a common human experience. Personally, it can bring shame and cause us to feel small. Communally, it can hurt or even destroy those around us. Let’s explore this Sacrament:

In John 3:16, God expresses His love for the world, for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” You see – God’s love for us is not something that God keeps to Himself.

In Jesus Christ, the love of God for all humanity finds its most concrete and palpable expression. Here, we can say that Jesus Christ is the sacrament of the love of God. In his public ministry, Jesus used very concrete and palpable ways to make known to people the love that God has for them: he cured their diseases, he fed them, he taught them about God the Father, and, of course, Jesus allowed them to experience God’s love and mercy by calling them to repentance and forgiving their sins. And Jesus, because he is God, is able to forgive sins (see Mark 2:1-12). Moreover, Jesus shared and entrusted to the Apostles his special ministry of making known and experienced God’s love and mercy (see John 20:22-23; also, Matthew 16:16-19). That the Church continues to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation even today is our way of acknowledging the real gift of God’s love and mercy for us, and of remaining true to this great responsibility that Jesus gave us.

In Baptism, we were invited by God to share in His divine life – to be called His sons and daughters. In the same sacrament, we acknowledged such a generous invitation by accepting God to be our Father. In baptism, we begin to live as members of God’s family. As sons and daughters of God, we are called to become like God, holy (Leviticus 11:45) and perfect (Matthew 5:48).

To be holy and perfect is a tall invitation but by God’s grace, it is possible to mature and grow towards greater holiness and perfection. This is the reason why we recognize countless saints in the church. There are times, however, when we give in to temptation and end up committing sin – which is an offense against God because sin disrupts our relationship with God (Rite of Penance). But God’s love and mercy is for the sinner (Luke 5:32). God unceasingly calls us, not to condemn us, but to save us, through

  • repentance – to humbly and honestly recognize our sins and failures;
  • contrition – to be truly sorry for hurting God and others because of our sins,
  • penance – to concretely show in our thoughts, words and actions the contrition we have expressed
  • absolution – to know beyond any doubt that our sins are forgiven by God through Jesus in the ministry of the priest, and therefore, we are once more reconciled with God and one another, the Church.

Personally, I know that through this sacrament, God is allowing me to experience His love and mercy so that I may really learn how to be loving and merciful. The grace, the love of God given to me in this sacrament not only allows for my sins to be forgiven (absolution in the confessional) but has also gradually transforms my life, allowing me to grow in holiness.

This sacrament is celebrated every Thursday night during Lent after the 5:15 PM Mass (around 6:00 PM for those not attending Mass) until 6:30 PM or until all are heard and an hour before the Saturday evening Mass.

Fr. Tony Herold

Comments are closed.

close window

Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856