The Sacrament of Reconciliation
My dear friends,
This weekend, as we light the third Advent candle, and we acclaim Christ as our Light who has come to remove the darkness of this world, we humbly acknowledge that there is still a lot of darkness in our world and in each one of us. This is why all the Catholic churches, not only here in the Diocese of Phoenix, but the Catholic churches all over the world, organize celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for all their parishioners.
Here at St. Jerome we join with St. Helen's Church for this celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It allows the priests from both parishes to come together to act as ministers of God's forgiveness. Other priests will join us, so that nobody will have to wait too long to go to confession. Unfortunately, in my case, I will not be able to be there with you. Every first and third Wednesday of the month I go to Lewis prison and share God's forgiveness with the prisoners. I also share the Word of God with them and share Holy Communion. They will not have any religious service for Christmas. So the service they will have on the 18th will be the only one. I don't want to deprive them of this opportunity to receive God's forgiveness and be nourished by God's Word and by Holy Communion.
Even though this is a busy time, I trust that many of you will allow God to share His forgiveness with you. The older I get, the more I'm convinced that when Jesus shared with us the parable of the Prodigal Son, he was so eager to tell you and me that his Father is always looking for us to come back to Him and ask for His forgiveness. In the parable, Jesus says that when the younger son was still a long way off, the father CAUGHT SIGHT OF HIM AND HIS HEART WAS MOVED WITH PITY. HE RAN OUT TO MEET HIM, THREW HIS ARMS AROUND HIS NECK, AND KISSED HIM." I always wonder how many human fathers would do that if their son or daughter would have hurt them as the father in the parable was hurt when his son told him that he wanted his share of the inheritance. In a way, the son was saying to his father, "I want you to die so that I can have my share of the inheritance."
But Jesus says that, even though the father was deeply hurt, his heart was MOVED WITH PITY, when he saw his son coming back to him. I know that you and I cannot identify with the prodigal son. But, on the other hand, we know that our relationship with God is not always a loving relationship. We have to examine our conscience and ask ourselves whether our way of thinking and acting is in accord with the teachings of Jesus. And as I often remind you, read chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew to find a good summary of the teachings of Jesus. And, after having received God's forgiveness, you will experience a lot of peace and joy.
Have a good third week of Advent!
Fr. Ben Drapeau, Eudist Parochial Vicar
Supports St. Jerome SchoolRead more
every WednesdayRead more
1st and 3rd Mondays of each month (and 5th Monday whenever it occurs)Read more
- DEC 9
- DEC 15
- DEC 17
- DEC 18
at St. Helen's Church, GlendaleRead more
- DEC 20
- DEC 22
- DEC 24
- DEC 31
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of GodRead more
- JAN 13
PLEASE NOTE: NO Healing Mass during Nov and Dec.Read more
- JAN 17
- FEB 21