Sep 19th, 2018
Tuesday evening, Sept.11, Fr. Joseph gave a presentation to the parents of our young people who are beginning their preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. Parents are the first teachers of their children in the practice of the faith. That is the responsibility parents undertake when they ask to have their child baptized. However the sacraments are in the care of the church and it is the dual role of parents and pastor to work together to prepare children for the celebration of sacraments. The sacramental life of the Church is built into the fabric of the community, they are meant to be celebrated in community, not separate from the community.
As a child is prepared for the reception of a Sacrament, as a couple is prepared for the Sacrament of Marriage, as catechumens are prepared to enter the church at Easter; it is the responsibility of the pastor to give the “Church’s” blessing that the sacraments are celebrated. As students make fun of my “gray” hair, I remind them that over the years they have helped turn my hair gray. One of the most important areas of my ministry is the overseeing of the sacraments for the Church. It is not always the easiest or fun part of ministry, since some people see them as a right or a graduation from their religious studies. Weddings can be the hardest of the sacraments because some couples want the latest fads which have little or nothing to do with liturgy.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is probably the least used of the sacraments by the lay people of the Catholic Church. Most people do not like to admit their faults and failings, especially to another person. And yet the Sacrament is one of great healing, a sacrament of hope. Perhaps the reason also for the lack of use of the Sacrament is that we live in a society and time when there does not seem to be any concept or understanding of sin. Everything is explained away. There is not much that we accept as our fault any more. We blame it on how we were brought up, or on some hidden problem in our past that made us act the way we do today. Whether we lie, cheat, steal, kill or cannot live up to our commitments, it is someone else’s fault and not ours! Thus we did not and have not sinned, we are perfect.
The Catholic Church stands against public opinion on many things and our sinful actions are one of them. When we choose to break one of the 10 Commandments; whether it is not going to church on the Lord’s Day, stealing, lying, being disrespectful of our parents, or any of the other 7 commandments, WE SIN. God has told us how to act and how not to act and when we chose not to follow His laws, we sin. I challenge not only our parents of our young people, but each of us to follow all 10 of God’s Commandments, and when we fail, that we seek God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I will begin the Church Council Classes for Adults picking up with Vatican II on September 23rd at 10am in the Dining Room of the school.