Thirty-third Sunday Ordinary Time
November 14, 2021 •
Every Sacrament we participate in is a perfect prayer to God through which we receive, first and foremost and in proper measure, the forgiveness of our sins.
The Church teaches very clearly that, except in cases of danger of death, if you have grave mortal sin on your conscience, the only way to you can receive forgiveness is either: a perfect act of contrition, ... or, going to confession. Going to the priest, telling him all your sins, most especially the grave ones, and then him giving you a penance and absolution. That's it. That's the only way our graver sins can be forgiven.
We don't necessarily like going to confession. But speaking for myself, I always love having gone to confession. Once I walk out and it's over and done and I'm forgiven, I always feel great. And I'm happy I did it.
But every time I have to go into that box, I always have that dread, that little pride, maybe some shame that I feel. Confessing the same sins over and over again, falling in the same way.
I read something once from a saint who said we almost always feel some shame when we have to confess our sins, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, we can often use that as an excuse to justify not going to confession. Or use that to make other excuses: I'm just so busy, it's just not the right time, I'll go next week. I'll go next week. I'll go next week. All because of our pride, because we're embarrassed. So this Saint said, Jesus - who suffered so much humiliation to give you that Sacrament - deserves that you suffer at least a little humiliation to receive it.
Whenever I think of that, by the grace of God, I get over my pride and just go.
The beauty of the grace of all the Sacraments, ... is that it is in truth the only thing that can take away the fear of damnation.
Saint Paul says we need to work out our salvation "in fear and trembling." But once you know all your sins are washed away, you don't have to fear God, you don't have to fear the second coming.
There's this tension, so to speak, between the "fear and trembling" and the peace that is brought to your conscience when you're freed from sin. You're going to constantly flow between one and the other. Our Lord restores you to grace, you have peace in your mind and heart. Because of weakness, you fall back into sin, therefore the fear and trembling. You repent. Our Lord restores you to grace. So you have peace in your heart. Until our dying breath, that's going to be our life. And that's okay. That soul is not perfect, but they're working on it.
Our danger is when we don't know the extent of our sins so we are not repenting properly. Or we put off repentance or think there is no need. ... Pray for the grace to repent and to believe in Jesus Christ.
Dn 12:1-3; Ps 16:5, 8-11; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mk 13:24-32
Homily begins at 19:24