Baruch 1:15-22; Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9;Luke 10:13-16
Saint Francis of Assisi
… they would long ago have repented. (Luke 10:13)
Imagine that you’ve found an old painting from an antique shop and have paid fifteen dollars for it. You take it home and try to clean it, but nothing seems to work. You decide to take it to an art restorer. When you return to pick it up, the artist informs you that this is a rare masterpiece, and it’s worth at least one million dollars!
Did you know that each of us is also a rare masterpiece? It’s true, but it’s often hard to see. That’s because quite often, our souls more resemble the old painting in the antique shop: covered over by the effects of sin, just waiting to be restored to their original beauty.
The good news is that there is one Person who can do that work of healing and restoration—Jesus! And he does it in the most powerful way possible—through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We often look at Reconciliation as a chore, an uncomfortable thing we have to do every now and then so that we don’t get into too much trouble. But the truth is that this sacrament is one of the best ways for us to encounter God’s grace and power. When we confess our sins, we open the door not only for the Lord to pardon us but also to wash us clean and set us free. Our confession gives Jesus the opportunity to fill us all over again with his peace and the joy of salvation.
In today’s Gospel, we read how Jesus wanted the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum to experience God’s goodness and mercy. He invited them to repent so that they could be relieved of their guilt and rediscover the beauty that lay within them. Every one of the miracles he performed in their midst was meant as a sign of the new life he was offering them. But they just couldn’t bring themselves to repent—and so they lost out.
Don’t follow their example! Believe that your heavenly Father is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness (Psalm 103:8). Trust that Jesus has come to save, not to condemn (John 3:17). Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation this weekend. And watch to see how your inner beauty shines forth!
“Thank you, Lord, for your love! Teach me the joy and freedom of repentance.”~WAU