"He sent Him to you first to bless you by turning you from your evil ways." —Acts 3:26
Jesus ended the first Easter evening by commanding His disciples to preach to all nations that we can be forgiven of our sins (Lk 24:47). On that first Easter evening, Jesus gave His apostles the ministry of forgiving sins in His name (Jn 20:23). The risen Christ did not tell us to forget about the sins which caused His crucifixion, but to repent of them. Peter understood this, for on Pentecost he announced to the people: "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven" (Acts 2:38). After healing the lame man, Peter repeated the call to repentance: "Reform your lives! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away!" (Acts 3:19) Easter is a season of repentance. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an Easter sacrament.
I invite you to go to Confession three times during the Easter season — once during each of the three parts of the Easter season. Go to Confession once during the Easter octave, that is, before Sunday. Go another time in the following thirty-three days. Then, go to Confession once more between the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost, that is, during the novena to the Holy Spirit which concludes the Easter season. As the risen Jesus asked Peter three times "Do you love me?" (Jn 21:15-17), so the Lord will ask you that question in each of your three confessions. Your loving response will lead to a glorious crescendo of the Easter season in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Prayer: Father, may I let You use the Sacrament of Reconciliation in my life to its full impact.
Promise: "Then He opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures." —Lk 24:45
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who leads the way to the Father!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Secret of Confession on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
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