As we honor the memory of Msgr. Reynolds, and as our Advent journey continues, we are reminded that John the Baptist was that voice crying in the wilderness challenging us to acknowledge our shortcomings, transform our hearts, and repent of our sins. In order to provide an additional opportunity for repentance, we will have an Advent Penance Service this Monday at 7:00 pm. As previously noted, one of our leading Catholic scholars has stated that sin clouds the mind in moral confusion and closes the heart to God’s love and truth. But in God’s light, we see sin for what it really is. When we sin, it does not necessarily mean that we are bad people. It means that we are missing the mark and refusing to listen to God’s word and obey His will. As a way to get back on the mark and follow the light of Christ, our Church places a special emphasis on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are invited to use this time of Advent as a time to reflect on our choices, failures, and shortcomings, and address them. To this end we will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation at our Advent Penance Service. Visiting priests will be available to assist us. We will have priests from various backgrounds, priests of various ages, priests with various perspectives but having some common purposes: to serve as instruments of the Lord’s pardon, mercy, and forgiveness, and to help us experience spiritual joy in our hearts at this special time of the year.
Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can cleanse ourselves spiritually as we wait in joyful anticipation for the coming of the Christ Child. As we know, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not intended to punish us but rather to get us closer to the Lord who loves us. Pope Francis stated, “If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out for us.”
Details concerning the Penance Service can be obtained from the Parish bulletin and website as well as from the Parish office. I hope that you will prayerfully consider participating in the Penance Service and avail yourself of this special time of spiritual renewal.