5 Sept 2019
Ever since the day we heard about you, we have never failed to pray for you, and what we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will. So you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects; showing the results in all the good actions you do and increasing your knowledge of God. You will have in you the strength, based on his own glorious power, never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.
Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.
“Because that is what He has done: He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that He loves, and in Him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.”
How do you feel after confession? Relieved? Happy? Or simply… nothing?
I feel happy after confession, especially after making good ones. The sacrament of reconciliation brings to me a feeling that is unlike ordinary experiences. When I quarrel with my friend and we make up after the argument, we give each other a hug and let bygones be bygones, and that’s it. I feel happy that the friendship has not been ruined. Or when I confess a mistake that I made to my friend, I will feel embarrassed and guilty, maybe even horrified, but if my friend forgives me for what I have done, I feel relieved.
However, for me, confession brings this happiness and relief to a much higher level spiritually and emotionally. I feel uplifted, like a huge stone has been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel overjoyed for being granted this wonderful sacrament. Most importantly, I feel loved by God through the sacrament of reconciliation.
We are supposed to feel happy after confession, as I recall one priest having mentioned before. When we visit the sacrament of reconciliation, we are given a new lease of life with God as He puts us right and cleanses us of our sins. Most importantly, this sacrament helps to bring us one step closer to God, and allows us to feel his abundant, unconditional and selfless love for us. No matter how sinful we are, He still wants to develop a closer relationship with us and is willing to forgive all our sins as long as we are sincere and repentant. He loves even the recalcitrant sinners and is willing to forgive them, even if people think that they cannot be saved by God.
Yet, it is a sad truth that confession lines are shorter than communion lines. An article has revealed that one of the main reasons could be because we are scared of embarrassing ourselves when we confess our sins to the priest. However, we should always remember that priests are merely being instruments of Christ. It is Christ who died for us and gave us the free gift of redemption. It is Christ who is in the confessional box, listening to our sins. It is Christ who is forgiving us when the priest raises his right hand to say the absolution. It does not matter who the priest is, for the sacrament of reconciliation is all about us building our relationship with Christ, not with the priest. Ultimately, it is Christ, and not the priest, who will welcome us to heaven, and give us everlasting and eternal life.
So, the next time you visit the sacrament of reconciliation, we hope that you will make a good one and feel happy after confession!
(Today’s Oxygen by Brenda Khoo)
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to make a good confession every time we visit the sacrament of reconciliation. Help us to experience Your redemptive and saving grace. Remove all traces of fear and pride when we see You in the priest during confession. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the sacrament of reconciliation and allowing us to build a closer relationship with you.