Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for Wednesday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time
August 16, 2023, Matthew 18:15-20
We Offend People But Also God
Perhaps you have had the experience of asking God for forgiveness for your sins, especially against someone, and you are still not at peace with God or with the person. It’s good to own up to our sins, but a quiet prayer isn’t enough.
After a while, we realize that we need the words of absolution from Jesus and the priest. How good it is and how blessed we are to know that when we tell the priest in the Sacrament, we are telling Jesus.
In today’s gospel, he told his disciples, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” He told this to his disciples, not everyone. St. John confirmed it was only his disciples in his gospel, so we would not doubt Jesus himself absolved sins through his ordained priests.
Some people think they can manage without Jesus absolving sin in the Sacrament. But they must realize that we not only offend other people but also offend our Lord God, Jesus Christ. “What you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me” (Matthew 25:40). He needs to hear our sorrow as well as other people do. Only Jesus can forgive/absolve sin that offends him.
From my experience, I know that confession to a priest in the Sacrament gives me the courage to approach a brother or sister and tell them I’m sorry. Until then, it’s easy to continue harboring resentment and the pain sin causes us. James L. Menapace states this:
To harbor resentments is like closing a wound with all the infection still inside. No healing can ever take place. The wound has to be lanced and opened and cleansed before it can heal. Someone has said resentment is like drinking poison, hoping the other person dies. (https://www.livingwithoutlust.com/our-unbearable-sins/)
Think of someone you know who has not been to confession for ages or a long time. It may be challenging to share how the Sacrament of confession has cleansed your mind, heart, and soul. It does because our heart becomes the merciful heart of Jesus. Pray about it; the Sacrament will give you courage.
IGNITE THE FIRE!
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC
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