Sunday, December 10, 2023
Mark 1:1 - 8
Going into our desert
Our readings in Advent have been encouraging us to take a good look at our priorities. They have told us to be watchful, to have bold faith, to listen and act on the words of Jesus, and to be open to God’s plan for us.
Today’s Gospel asks us to take the next step.
“John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
We might wonder what would make people deliberately go out to the desert to see this strangely dressed man, tell him their sins, and then be baptized. But the Gospel tells us they were doing it in droves. The secret might be in his words, “One mightier than I is coming after me.” So they realized the need to get ready, really ready, for the Messiah.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our chance to go out to the desert and confess our sins. While it’s not a requirement for us to go to Confession during Advent, it really is the perfect time to go. Priests are so happy to see people come that they will gladly walk you through it if it has been a while.
In the end, all that matters is making a good examination of conscience, being sincerely sorry for having offended God, making a true act of contrition, and receiving absolution from the priest. Then, our souls are as clean as the day of our baptism.
Try this: Refresh your memory on how to make a good confession. Then, look for a time to go to your parish or one nearby.
Lord, thank you for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, your gift of true love that is the means for me to return to you after I have sinned.