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Reconciliation: What’s the Point?

As I try to keep my homilies short, I also try to get to the point quickly when I blog. (Try being the operative word, here.) When it comes to the topic of reconciliation, I often hear good people say how tired and disheartened they feel having to go to confession so frequently and, often, for the same sins.

As a “repeat offender” myself, I completely sympathize. When I begin to entertain thoughts like, “What’s the point of going to confession this time?” two truths eventually re-crystalize for me. Sometimes, it takes longer for these truths to resurface to my consciousness, but they always do, by the grace of God; and truth, as Jesus said, will set us free (Jn 8:32).

So here they are: First, reconciliation reminds us that we are absolutely dependent upon God for our salvation; and, second, that reconciliation was instituted by Christ so that we sinners could experience the lavish and infinite mercy of God.

In other words, we are not doing something wrong (or failing) when we go to confession frequently or for the same sins. We are doing something very right! Our dependence and God’s merciful nature go hand-in-hand. In fact, God designed it this way. God delights in forgiving us; and we, therefore, should delight in receiving his forgiveness.

As 1 Jn 4:8 says, “God is love.” Likewise, as Pope Francis put it, in his letter opening the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” In the midst of the confusion and darkness of sin, I hope you and I will always find and follow the light of these important truths and never grow tired of going to confession.


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