Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Penance Peace

I went to a reconciliation, formerly known as penance, service last evening for our area deanery. I did not look forward to going, and apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way in general. The priest who gave the homily (who I think was Fr. Thomas Brown at Sacred Heart) said most people put this service on par with going to the dentist. The thought of spilling the beans about yourself to another person, known as confession, is not pleasant.

And yet before I even got to the confessional, I felt a greater peace than I have in a long time. The priest talked of a God who loves us enough to keep himself on a cross until he died, and that was powerful. Often in Lent I think of Christ's journey to the cross, but last night I focused on what it took for Him to stay there. He could have easily shown the people who mocked Him that He was indeed the son of God and could come off. They would have been proven wrong in an amazing way.

But Christ kept His focus on the long-run, just as He had His whole life. He put aside the majesty and splendor He could have had in the short-run. He saw not only the people in front of Him, but all mankind. He gave us all a chance at future life with Himself and the Father and Holy Spirit.

When someone like myself becomes wrapped up in news stories of political fighting and even fighting within the Church, one can get angry and accusatory. But we pay a price in all that when we lose our own peace and best focus. I was really glad I went to the penance service to start concentrating where I should--on Christ's life, death, and resurrection to His present life where we can meet and know Him.

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