Then cleansed be every life from sin: make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare for Christ to come and enter there.
There are times that you learn a bit about me in these meditations as I share a bit about myself. Another little goodie that I do not think I have shared with you yet would be the fact that I have had a bad habit for as long as I could remember: I often will wear the same clothes until someone peels them off of me and/or they run themselves to the washing machine. When I was very young and we would be told that we needed to get ready because we were going to go out to dinner or a movie, I would excitedly run to my room and throw on some nicer clothes.
My mother would take one look at me and tell me to go back to my room, take the clean clothes off, go to the bathroom, wash up, and then put the clean clothes back on. She would always say, “You don’t put clean over dirty, Michael Joseph.”
That is something we often try to do in our spiritual lives. We are “dirty” inside because of our sins. Instead of cleansing ourselves in the sacrament of reconciliation, we just dress up and pretend that all is well. However, putting clean clothes on – doing good works, being kind to others, et cetera – and not going to confession does us no good.
“Then cleansed be every life from sin: make straight the way for God within.” The only way we can become cleansed spiritually is to go to confession. There, we meet the merciful God and receive absolution for our sins. Yesterday, we reflected upon some of the ways to ready ourselves for Christmas. Today, I would like to add another one to the list: go to confession.
There should be no shame or fear involved. In the sacrament there are two sinners – the penitent and the priest – who encounter and celebrate the powerful love and mercy of God.
FAITH ACTION: As Penance Services are highly unlikely this Advent due to the pandemic, make a plan to go to confession early so as to avoid long lines closer to Christmas.