Thursday, March 22, 2007

Going to Confession: A Laetare Experience

The following homily was given by Bishop Paul S. Loverde on March 18, 2007, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, at St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington.

Years ago, this particular Sunday in Lent was called "Laetare Sunday." The word "laetare" in Latin means "be glad" or "rejoice." On this particular Sunday in Lent, there was a brief break in the Lenten season, a moment of refreshment amidst the rigors of the Lenten penance and fasting. The change in the color of vestments, from purple to rose, indicated that this Sunday was somewhat the same yet somewhat different from the other Sundays of Lent.

This invitation to "be glad" or "rejoice" causes us to reflect on the real reason for rejoicing even in Lent. Our true joy is anchored in Christ Our Lord and Savior, because by His Dying and Rising, He has freed us, saved us, redeemed us, from sin and eternal death. As Saint Paul reminds us in today's second reading, we have become new creations in Christ because God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ.

To be reconciled implies that previously we were estranged or separated; to be reconciled implies that we have rejoined the circle, we have come back home. So, what separates us from God? What causes us to be outside the circle, to leave home? Is it not sin? Yes, when we refuse to love God and one another as He commands us to do, when we disobey, preferring our will and not His, when we misuse the good things He has given us, we break away from the family of God, we walk out of the circle, we leave home. Later, when we come to our senses and desire to return, we take part in the process of reconciliation, coming back home.

In today's gospel account, Jesus describes this process of reconciliation so beautifully and so (see continuation of this article here.


Karen Edmisten said...

Yes, where would we be without confession? It's such a gift.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Yes, it is, Karen. If only we could help others with their fear of this great Sacrament which is really a wonderful cleansing of the soul! Saint John Vianney was said to have seen evil spirits surrounding people in his Confession line trying to pursuade them to not go through with their confession. That should tell us how important this great Sacrament is for our souls and for our salvation!

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...
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