FROM ABSOLUTION TO WELCOME
Words cannot describe what I feel in the confessional when I experience the beautiful mercy of the Lord working in a person’s heart. It doesn’t matter how long they have been away from the Lord and the Church. They are home again! Yahoo! The worried look on their face turns to a glowing smile. Their gaze moves from the floor to me as the burden of guilt is lifted from their soul.
The welcome they gave the Lord began long before they came to Confession. For years there was no welcome, no thought of Jesus. Perhaps they were like the people of Jesus’ hometown who lived with Jesus in Nazareth but never knew Him. Claims Jesus made about Himself, receiving a special anointing from the Lord to heal the sick and give sight to the blind, was too much for them.
The welcome we give Jesus every day is crucial to having a healthy, personal relationship with Him. Jesus welcomes everyone who opens their heart to Him. Jew, Gentile, rich or poor, healthy or disabled are all welcomed in His heart. A little discipline helps me stay in touch with Jesus, so He is at home with me. It is refreshing to be with the Lord every day. What do you do to make sure Jesus isn’t a stranger to you, even for a day? Talk to Him about it and let Him know how much you appreciate Him.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC