Monday, December 07, 2020

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Jesus heals a crippled man, allowing him to walk freely. But he does something more, much more, and perhaps even more powerful than the physical healing: he forgives the man from sins. This action of forgiveness castes much controversy and division because only God can forgive. The religious leaders became indignant when Jesus claims to be able to forgive sins, because this means he is somehow divine. Jesus can prove the man is healed by the fact that he can get up and start walking freely. How can Jesus “prove” that the man is forgiven? He can’t....

The most powerful gift we are given is NOT physical healing but the spiritual healing of forgiveness of our sins, which “cripple” us in spirit. Physical healings can only go so far and for so long because we age and our bodies eventually give way to the eventual reality of death. But the spirit, the soul, lives on...

Forgiveness frees us from past hurts; it frees us from the spiritual cancer of bitterness; it strengthens our relationship with God and the one we hurt, even if they refuse to let go; forgiveness by God empowers us to forgive in return, making us just like God; forgiveness immerses us in the joy of mercy, which we, in turn, pour out into the world: “how blessed are the merciful...”; forgiveness never ends because we always sin in one way or another.

I love to go to Confession, yes, I love to go to Confession, not for the confession of sin, but for the grace and mercy Christ gives me through the priest. My experience of Reconciliation, Confession, has been nothing short of powerful and life changing. And all because of the grace freely given by Christ through his church and priest. Somehow, through God’s mysterious love, my inner spirit stays young and vibrant through the gift of the Sacrament of Mercy.

Please come to Confession, if you are ready, not out of guilt, but to receive the greatest of Christmas gifts, God’s forgiveness and mercy. You won’t be able to physically unwrap this gift, but you will be “unwrapped,” allowing YOU to become a human gift of gratitude.

Peace, Joy,
Fr. Frank