Saturday, 08 December 2018
“Be Prepared” is a motto I grew up hearing and a value to which I still strive to adhere. Being an Eagle Scout it was everywhere – on badges, on books, on shirts, on bumper stickers, etc…. It is a value that can never be underestimated and is timeless. Preparation is important in every area of life.
In the classroom we never like to be caught off guard by a pop quiz so we keep up with the material of the class. We want to do well on the test so we study. We want to anticipate what might happen on the sports field so we practice 2-minute drills, out of bounds plays, and free kicks. We make sure our presentation is outlined and smooth before we go into a meeting with a client. We order extra cups and straws in case more people than anticipated show up. We go over in our head and maybe on paper before going into surgery. We read the prayers and pray over the scriptures before we walk down the aisle for mass. We work on our homily and what the Lord wants to say to His people before we get into the pulpit. We all prepare for things on a daily basis in our lives.
Each Advent, the Church encourages us to prepare our hearts, our souls, every area of our life for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession we do this. This past week, all the children in our school were given the opportunity to go to confession. Today, all the children in our Parish Religious Education Program will have the opportunity to go to this Sacrament of the Lord’s mercy. On December 19th, we will have this Sacrament of the Lord’s healing and forgiveness open to all the parish. Some people prepare by coming to this Sacrament frequently. Others have not been in 30 or 40 years.
For those who have not been in such a long time, please come and let the Mercy of God, the healing power of God’s life wash over you and reconcile you to Him, to others, and to yourself. Sin wounds our relationship with God, others, and even wounds ourselves. This Sacrament helps heal those wounds. If you haven’t been in a while, there is no need to be afraid. If you do not know the words, we will publish a little aid in next week’s bulletin that you can use. The priest will also assist you and help you walk through it. Don’t let the fact that you forgot the Act of Contrition keep you away. Don’t let the evil one keep you away by telling you that Father will be angry with you or he will look down upon you when he hears what you’ve done. We priests are here to dispense the Lord’s mercy and His healing grace upon you. The Lord wants to make you whole so that you can receive Him fully when He comes to you.
Come to this font of the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Confession! The Lord is waiting and yearning to show you His love for you!
A Blessed Advent to you all!
Fr. Daniel F. Firmin