“Be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
This is a mandate of the Gospel and this is our life’s call. Because of Adam’s sin, we have a fallen human nature. Because of Christ’s Suffering, Death, and Resurrection, we have been redeemed. Would that we live in a perfect world? But we don’t! We sin. Sin is a stumbling block on our journey to salvation. Sin is an offence against God, a rupture of communion with Him. Grave sin imperils our salvation, while lesser sins impair our relationship with our Creator. Fortunately for us, Our Savior gave us a wondrous Sacrament to forgive sin and to be a positive source of grace to strengthen us on our journey through life. This Sacrament is known by various names: Confession, Penance, and Reconciliation. Each name captures a facet of this wondrous healing sacrament. Reception of the Sacrament is needed when there is grave sin. Yet, since it is such a positive source of God’s grace, frequent reception of the sacrament is encouraged. It is difficult to improve on the beautiful words of John Paul II: “To those who have been far away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiving love, I make this appeal: come back to this source of grace, do not be afraid! Christ Himself is waiting for you. He will heal you, and you will be at peace with God!” All that is needed for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.