Advent is a time to find the lost through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Have you ever lost some-thing that was really important to you? How did you feel when you lost it? Did you eventually find what you lost? How did you feel when you found it? Have you ever been lost or separated from loved ones—even for a little while? (Think of being separated from your family at a zoo or the mall or…) How did you feel? What were you thinking? How did you feel when you were found?
Sin is a separation from God. If we do not approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are ‘people gotten lost’. In the Gospel of Luke we read a touching story of the Prodigal Son: (Luke 15:11-31) Reading this story, we need to look at our own personal story or story of a son (could be a daughter too!) who decides to leave home and gets lost.
Story of the Prodigal Son helps us to reflect our ‘personal story of lost’. Here God is like the father in the story? It is also a story of the Forgiving Father. God is always waiting for our return and to forgive us when we are sorry. God comes out to meet us and welcome us back. When we approach God through the sacrament of reconciliation, we are like the younger son who approached the father realizing his faults. As we approach, we must tell God how sorry we are for the wrongs we have done and ready to reconcile with those whom we have hurt. It isn’t easy to say, “I’M SORRY”. It is difficult to ask for forgiveness and admit that we have chosen to do something wrong. However, if we don’t reconcile how are we going to celebrate Christmas and invite Christ in our life?
Advent is a time of preparedness, time of waiting to receive our Saviour, a time of inviting our God in our midst. It is like keeping our homes neat and tidy for the invited guest to arrive. Similarly we keep our hearts clean and pure to receive Jesus by approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confession at Christmastime need not be a burdensome chore but we got to love it. We got to love Jesus, who wants to be en-flashed in our hearts. It is said: “Just like the body cannot live without food, and the soul cannot live without grace – the forgiveness of God, the presence of Jesus and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. ” We need to feed our soul. “The Lord in His goodness gave us seven channels – the sacraments. One of them is, and perhaps the most beautiful of all: the sacrament of reconciliation”.
As in the parable of the Prodigal Son, we want to go to Him and say, “Father, please forgive me and make me whole.” Let this time of Advent be for us a time of opening our hearts wide to God and letting Him know everything that hinders His incarnation in our lives. God through his mercy will set everything right and His incarnation will make our lives ‘WHOLE’
Advent is a most advantageous time to go for confession, With all that’s going on, we want to be absolutely ready to receive that little Infant Jesus. When we go to Holy Communion on Christmas, we want to go as white and pure as we could. Mary’s role in the Incarnation of [Jesus] Christ is that she hands over her Son to us. How would I receive Him in my hands, if I have not reconciled and prepared myself to receive Him?
Fr. Jacob Alvares