Tag Archives: Confession

it’s like I’m married to them

23 Mar

The well was the biblical meeting place, where one often met a future spouse. Many a couple still meet at a watering hole, but, of course, where the drink of preference is not water.  A well was the Old Testament version of eharmony.com.Jacob well 02

Jacob met his wife Rachel when she came to the well at noon. He did not win her immediately. It took some doing.

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Jesus sat at Jacob’s well at about noon, when a woman arrived. It is no wonder that the disciples were a bit surprised and stressed to see the two of them together at the well. It is also no wonder that the conversation turned towards marriage. But the conversation is about marriage of a different kind.

Jesus had come through Samaria on purpose and for a purpose: to woo the people of Samaria into a right relationship, to win them over. As we hear the conversation about, “Get your husband … I have no husband … you are correct, you have had five … and the one you are with now is not your husband,” we imagine Jesus fighting  the inclination to end, “not yet!” We know what he has in mind. And we know who she is with right now, who is not her husband, yet: Jesus. 

Rather than thinking of a woman walking down the aisle five times, each time to meet her man in a wedding ceremony, and five times being disappointed, think: marriage between God and his people, Christ wedded to the Church, the community of believers being the Bride of Christ, who is the Spouse of the Church. 

Jesus had come through Samaria to win the Samaritans into a “marriage” that would be life-giving and eternally lasting, not like the five “marriages” that they entered into with the gods and the cultures of the conquering people, which always led to a disappointing life foreign to their Jewish faith. 

Jesus had come to Samaria to win the whole people of Samaria over from their five bad marriages into the one good one – with him! He started with her, and she helped him pull it off. She left the well and went to her home and her town to bring the announcement that there was going to be wedding, not with a dead beat husband, but with the Savior of the world. 

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As I went to the well this morning at Mass, it dawned on me that I often speak  to God the same five faults, failings, missteps, habits and sins. I confess the same handful of sins to the priest. It seems like I am married to this handful – these five things – that get me nowhere and keep me from being free and happy.

I must return to the well of Sunday Mass every week to be wooed from my bad five marriages.

Today’s homily is at minute 21:50 of our parish’s “On-Demand Archives” under the titled,Bible eHarmony.com

the lights are (finally) out – 6 hours later

19 Mar

the Light is ON for You  02

THE LIGHTS ARE OUT!

Father John and I started at 6:50 p.m. because people were already in the church. It was 9:40 p.m. when the last person had left.

That was two priests for ten minutes less than three hours of confessions – that is, twenty minutes less than six hours of confessions – 5 hours and 40 minutes of confessions. That is a lot of God’s mercy assured and realized.

I had not told my parishioners about the usual Lenten penance service on April 8, so one could wonder whether people were thinking that this was it for Lent. But I am suspecting that the parish penance service will be BIGGER than usual, too.

My guess is that the priests of the diocese will give feedback to the bishop that the event was a success and should be a re-do.

My advice to the Bishop will be that we do it again next Lent, adding two hours on a Saturday morning, and two deanery-wide penance services, one led by one of the bishops and the other led by the dean.

Could we possibly have too much of such a good thing?

we will be ready

18 Mar

the Light is ON for you 05Father John and I will be ready to hear their confessions and to assure them of God’s forgiveness.

In every Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati the doors will open and the lights will be “on” for God’s welcome from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, March 18, 2014.  

At our beloved St. Andrew we are ready for all who come through our doors during this “The Light is ON for You” event.

We have experimented with our lights, so that attention will be gently directed to the tabernacle, to the altar and to the crucifix, while having enough light in the nave for people to be able to read the “how to go to confession” tri-fold.

There will be greet-ers and pray-ers, that is, a couple parishioners who will quietly and unobtrusively help people know that we are pleased that they have come, and who will then slip out of the way and let God do God’s work.

In addition to our every day and all the time reconciliation chapel, we have set up a confessional in the priest’s sacristy. the Light is ON for you 04

At the priest’s chair all is in place. There is a box of tissues to help wipe away any tears of fear or sorrow or gratitude or overwhelming joy … the Light is ON for you 03

… a variety of acts of contrition …  the Light is ON for you 01 … and the gift of a prayer card that might be given as a penance or might be given just because.

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All is ready, except me.

It is 5 o’clock. I will eat a quick little supper: some leftover cheese and spinach perogies. Then there will be a 15-minute nap, 10 minutes on the treadmill and a quick shower. That should get me alert and refreshed for two hours of God’s welcome.

on 4 U

15 Mar

the Light is ON for you

On Tuesday, March 18, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. every Catholic parish or region in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will have its doors open for quiet prayer and the opportunity for confession. The LIGHT is ON for YOU.

“homework” from Pope Francis

14 Nov

“The Lord Jesus is so good that he never tires of forgiving me. Remember that! Baptism opens the doors of the church. Look up the date of your baptism. But also, when the door starts closing a bit because of our weakness and sins, confession reopens it.”

“Let’s go forward joyfully, OK? Because life must be lived with the joy of Jesus Christ,” he said. “This is a grace from the Lord.”