Lent and Reconciliation

The season of Lent reminds us of the need for reconciliation. This year, parish reconciliation will be April 16.

If the word reconciliation means anything in our lives, it means peace, such as the peace we experience after a difficult encounter when apology is offered and accepted. There is also the peace of sitting in a church in the presence of the Lord and proclaiming to ourselves prayerfully that we are truly forgiven.

Each of us experiences a drift from our ideals. We have done foolish things in the past, been neglectful, and said things out of anger or resentment. Maybe we recognize that we have not been good stewards of our lives. We are not at peace.

The Lord never tells us “First demonstrate your worth…then I will reach out to you”. There is a sacrament available to us, a gift that expresses our desire for reconciliation with the Lord, and with each other. It is there to bring peace.

Good stewards proclaim the gospel, and seeking reconciliation with the Lord, others, and within, is such a proclamation. The woman who came into the dining room where Jesus was having a meal, came not to proclaim her sinfulness, but to proclaim her gratitude for having been forgiven. She brings “alms” as she rubs expensive oils into Jesus’ hair (Matt.26:11-13). The Lord’s gifts of reconciliation and peace are meant to be proclaimed and shared by our own almsgiving and acts of forgiveness, as well. If we imitate the woman who anointed Jesus, we will be, as the Lord Said, “known as long as the Gospel is preached.”

-taken from the International Catholic Stewardship Council e-Bulletin