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Reflection by Ann Rock

Today's Gospel: John 20:19-23 - Pentecost Sunday

There is a lot happening in today’s brief scripture passage, namely, the institution of both the Christian priesthood as well as the sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus has risen from the dead and His friends are glad to see Him. I can imagine they are still a bit shell-shocked after all that has happened. Then He does something perplexing: Jesus breathes on them to impart the Holy Spirit. He further instructs them that the sins they forgive will be forgiven.

We see the disciples were charged to spread God’s word and function as the first priests in the new Church. Jesus has empowered them through the Holy Spirit to go into the world as the Father sent Him. His many teachings about faith, hope and charity are the road map. The Holy Trinity knows, however, the disciples can’t accomplish this on their own. God generously shares the Spirit with His priests to give them the grace to follow His lead.

By further empowering these new priests to forgive sins I also think the gospel points us to the importance of reconciliation. During the course of his ministry Jesus has been outlining the sacraments. First baptism, then the Eucharist. He is now giving priests the power and mission to forgive sins. There are several stories in the Gospels telling of how Jesus forgave sin and the sufferer was healed both physically and spiritually. He wants to continue that grace even after His resurrection through His ordained ministers.

Now, I will admit reconciliation is not my favorite sacrament. Because of this I don’t go more than a few times a year, which makes me nervous when I do go. Will I remember the proper form? Will I remember the Act of Contrition? Will I just repeat the same old sins I’ve been confessing for years? Will the priest be patient and kind? It really is too bad. I am missing the grace of a sacrament created by God to reconcile myself to Him. Perhaps the most important message of this passage is to remind me that confession is good for my soul and I need to go more often.

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How can I open myself more to the grace of the sacrament of reconciliation?


Dear Lord, thank You for Your amazing grace poured out through Your sacraments. Please help me to avail myself of Your generosity.

Copyright 2020 Ann Rock

I have been married for 33 years. I am mother of one adult son. I love bible study and participate as a facilitator. I also work as a companion for a senior citizen.

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