01-28-2018 The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
January 28, 2018—Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
How have you experienced forgiveness in your life?

Because of human weakness, our new life in Christ arising from the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist), is often challenged by sin that can weaken and harm our relationship with God and damage our communion with the Church, as well as with others and our self. In addition, we all face sickness and death. God continually reaches out to us to reconcile ourselves with God and restore our communion with the Church.

We find references throughout Scripture to God’s divine mercy, calling us to conversion and the forgiveness of sin. We find numerous examples in the Gospels of Christ’s mission to forgive sins. One needs only to read Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son which exemplifies our loving, merciful, and forgiving God. (Lk 15:11-32).

Through Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection we are reconciled with God through the forgiveness of sin, and we are given the gift of new life with our Triune God now, ultimately leading to our eternal happiness. Even while Jesus was suffering on the Cross, he forgave those who were rejecting and killing him, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34). It is never too late to seek or receive God’s mercy and forgiveness before we die (e.g. Lk 23:32-43).

Only God can forgive sin. But through his Church, Jesus, the divine healer, has given us the gift of the Sacraments of Healing—Penance and Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick—for the forgiveness of sins and ministry to the sick and dying. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you….Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:21-23).

In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, the priest acts in the person of Christ, the Head of the Church, to reconcile the sinner to both God and the Church. “The priest is the sign and instrument of God’s merciful love for the sinner” (CCC, no. 1465).

This Sacrament involves a conversion of our hearts to God, the confession of our mortal sins to a priest, contrition or sorrow for our sins and the determination to avoid such sin in the future, and a penance to make some amends for our sin. The priest, representing Christ, brings us his forgiveness, absolves us from our sins, and reconciles us with God and the Church. For those who commit mortal sin after Baptism, this Sacrament is necessary in order to be reconciled to God and restored to communion with the Church.

*U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 18.
 Reflect on Your Experience
Are there any sins that you want to confess and
experience God’s mercy and forgiveness?

What prevents you from seeking or receiving the
Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation? 
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  
"The Confession" (a short and moving dramatic film)

"The Sacrament of Penance" (USCCB)

"Why Do I Have to Confess to a Priest" (Bishop Robert Barron)

"Why Go to Confession"

"Sacraments 101 - Penance - Why We Confess"

"How to Make a Good Confession" (Syracuse Diocese)

"Sacraments of Healing" - CCC 1420-1439 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

"Reconciliation - Penitent, Minister, Effects" - CCC 1440-1449 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

"Reconciliation - Penitent, Minister, Effects" - CCC 1450-1470 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

"Indulgences and Penance" - CCC 1471-1498 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

"All to Jesus I Surrender"

"Amazing Grace" (Celtic Women)

"Create in Me a Clean Heart"

"Do I Trust You" (Twila Paris)
Rites, Symbols, & Practices

"Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation" (USCCB)

"Penitencia" (USCCB)

"God's Gift of Forgiveness and How to Go to Confession (USCCB)

"El Regado de Dios del Perdón  y Como Confesarse" (USCCB)

"Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: Forgiveness in Four Easy Steps" (USCCB)

"Rediscovering the Sacrament of Penance" (USCCB)

"How to Go to Confession - Part One" (Video)

"How to Go to Confession - Part Two" (Video)

"How to Go to Confession - A Guide to Confession" (Video)

"Examination of Conscience" (USCCB)

"Examination of Conscience" (Video with Music)

"Examen" or "Examination of Consciousness" (Fr. Albert Haase - Video)
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: aff@hrsrcs.org
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