Once there was a family. And to all those who knew this family, they were model parishioners and upstanding members of the local community. But this family had a secret, not known to anyone but themselves. They worked very hard at making sure no one found out what the secret was.
But one day, the older son blurted out the secret. There had been a heated argument with his parents about something else, and the son got so aggravated that he shouted it out. In plain and simple language he said the words that no one wanted to hear, or ever dared to speak. All were stunned. Mouths dropped open, and there was a moment of dead silence.
Actually, it was a good thing that the son named the secret—said it out loud. It turned out to be the beginning of a healing process that eventually helped everyone in the family. Now that someone had said the words—-named the problem, it could be dealt with. The family could begin to move forward in a more positive way. They could be free.
This story has a direct connection to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. During this season of Advent we focus on the two comings of Christ. The First Coming already happened, and we prepare for the celebration of that remembers that coming—-the Incarnation—-on Christmas. But then there is the Second Coming. This one hasn’t happened yet. It’s the Coming of Christ at the end of time, or the Coming that will happen at the end of our own life. It’s the preparation for this Second Coming that calls us to get things right with our God. And the way we do that is by making the most of this Season and getting to confession.
Allow yourselves to be free of any burden that has been weighing you down. There’s something healthy about naming the sin—-saying the words—-that puts an end to the “secret” so to speak, and opens our heart to receive the Lord, who wants so desperately to come into our lives and be one with us.
So, to help you prepare, I would like to go over this examination of conscience with you…
Confessions will be heard this Thursday (our Advent Penance Service) at 7:00 pm. There will be 7 priests here assisting me, so things won’t go too long…
End the “secret”. Free yourself and be ready for the Coming of the Lord.