We had the incredible opportunity to attend our annual parish mission last night. It was held by Fr. Conrad Kratz OPram, from Green Bay, WI. The mission centered around the joy of living a spiritual life, the keys to true happiness and the ability to forgive others and release the pain held deep within our souls.
I think the part that held the most impact for me, was when he described St. Thomas and his anger and hurt following the Crucifixion of Jesus. When I often heard of Thomas being a ‘doubting Thomas’ I automatically assumed he was simply jealous for not being present when Jesus appeared to the Apostles, but that wasn’t the case. He was genuinely hurt and angry because he was supposed to follow Jesus as he evangelized the world, and when he was crucified his whole world was shattered.
But when Jesus did appear to Thomas, he invited him to place his hands into His wounds, thereby taking all his hurt, his pain, his disappointment and broken heart into Christ’s wounds and he was healed. His pain was taken away. His faith restored. His broken heart made whole again.
Like with Thomas, we are invited to do the same. To cry out to God and place our pain, our broken hearts into Christ wounds and allowing the blood of the cross to heal us and make us whole.
The Sacrament of Confession helps us in verbalizing our pain, our suffering, our faults and sinful behavior and places them into Jesus’ wounds and the foot of the cross to become healed again.
God understands our pain because He felt pain too–when the curtain was torn in two after His only Son gave up His life-it was God’s heart being broken. He can take all of our anger, sadness and brokenness because He understands.
My question to myself: if the Sacrament of Confession is so readily available to me. If God makes present his Healing touch, his wounds for me to place my frailties, then why don’t I celebrate this Sacrament more often? My goal for this new season of the Church is to grow in that Sacrament.
Thanks be to God for your marvelous priests.