26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) 2021
It was in the early 60’s. I was still a young impressionable son. My parents had us attending their home parish, an ethnic Slovak church in Lakewood and I liked church.
On one occasion and it was during the time when all people knelt at the altar rail to receive holy communion. I was next to my dad.
As we waited to receive holy communion, I noticed that my dad had an index card in his praying hands. As the Monsignor came to offer us communion the altar server TOOK THE CARD out from my dad’s hand.
After Mass, I asked dad, “What was that card you had in your praying hands?”
He answered by explaining that the Monsignor mailed to EVERONE these cards. They were to be returned signed and saying that my dad and mom went to CONFESSION and COMMUNION during the EASTER SEASON.
Not sure if any of you had that in the 60’s??? But here it is, the good pastor, Monsignor, was MAKING SURE THAT HIS PARISHIONERS participated in the life-giving sacraments, especially confession.
That is so solicitous, caring, and considerate of the pastor; desiring the parishioners to make use of these sacraments and wanting to know from them that they have done so!
Not sure what the kind Monsignor did if parishioners DID NOT return a card!!! That could be a whole other story!
But dad and mom were obedient and loved the church and followed the church laws by participating in the sacraments on a regular basis.
Today we hear:
CUT IT OFF
PLUCK IT OUT
WHATEVER CAUSES YOU TO SIN GET RID OF IT!
Yes, GET RID OF IT! How do you do that? CONFESSION!
The catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.
It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5 from whom one has strayed by sin.
Believe me, as kind as I may be, I am not going to send you a card, like our MONSIGNOR did, but like him, I want more parishioners to again make use of the Sacrament of Penance.
If you truly want to PLUCK IT OUT or GET RID OF IT, it will happen by the very regular confession of sins to the priest.
Let us think about it more in these days of pandemic and political crazy things happening to become the best version of ourselves in these very mysterious times. Let us become “ALTER CHRISTUS”, another Christ, when we confess our sins which the world so definitely needs. Let it begin with me!