In the old days, we called going to confession ‘getting right with God’. Regardless of what was happening in life, something deep inside of us knew that our relationship with God was the one thing that needed to be order. I liken it to having an internal antenna seeking God. The Church teaches that the very fabric of our being is created for this right orientation to God.
In these turbulent times, we must answer God’s call to holiness and allow Him to transform us through the sacrament of reconciliation.
The ghosts of New Years past: resolutions to change myself every New Year’s, Lent, birthday and Advent … the yo-y0 effect of being absolutely sure every morning that I’ll keep my resolutions only to give in about 3pm that afternoon … a scream of “YIKES” realizing that me changing myself fails because it remains centered in me … suppressing the “YIKES” and coming up with a ‘better’ resolution.
All we need for 2021 is one simple resolution: to ask God “What is one thing I need to do, or not do, that will change my relationship with you?” And then do it.
Over the millennia, people have been fascinated that the Magi traveled so far to adore a child King of a peoples not their own. The Magi could not have predicted from the stars when He would be born or how, or what was to happen “but conversely, having a long time before seen a star appear in their own country, they come to see Him that was born.” Then one asks why did they come at all? They weren’t there to pay homage to the child of a human ruler. He wasn’t their king, and they didn’t hesitate to risk telling the reigning ruler (Herod) of this new king in his kingdom. They took great risk in traveling the long distance. Arriving to find this King was an infant, they worshipped him rather than turning around and going home. Why did they bother?
This liturgical period gives many opportunities to grow profoundly in this relationship with God: the Holy Family, Mary Mother of God, The Holy Name of Jesus, all leading to the Feast of the Epiphany. It is not the bringing of closure to Christmas but, rather, the making of it an ongoing lived reality in our heart. Grasping at two simple truths and rejecting any contrary thoughts will change your life and, through you, those you love: (1) God really does love you deeply, personally and mercifully, and (2) You are worthy of it.
Let us allow God to remake us so that, like Mary, we may be the face of Grace to the world.