The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Consider for a moment, the imagery of the lamb slaughtered as sacrifice of atonement for the sins of others. Jesus not only took the place of the lamb but more importantly, took the place of you and me. He was slaughtered for our salvation. Maybe slaughter is a harsh word; however, when we fail to see the horrific truth of His crucifixion – we fail to see what a gift it truly is.
God’s greatest gift to us is his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection open the door to salvation and eternal life through the gifts of mercy and forgiveness. But do we utilize these gifts? Are we wise enough to recognize what God is offering and take full advantage of it? The best way to appreciate this great gift comes with participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka going to regular confession). Gifts left unused are useless.
One year for Christmas my “baby” sister gave me Wii fit, complete with resistance bands, a water bottle and workout mat. I was furious! Let’s just say she’s a very fit size 6 and I’m not. I thanked her through clenched teeth, and after Christmas shoved the game, still in its wrapper, to the back of the TV cabinet.
A few months later, my mother shared her diabetes had progressed and she would now require daily insulin shots. A light went off in my head. My father had his first heart attack at 34, and by the age of 55 was a heart transplant recipient. Now, my mother, barely in her 70s, had become severely diabetic. Both diseases plaguing our parents, we know from their doctors, could have been prevented or at least controlled with diet and exercise. Yet, neither followed this advice and are paying the price with their health. My sister’s gift was not about judgment or control. No, it was given from a place of deep love and concern. She could care less about what my outside looked like; this gift was all about my having a healthy, strong inside.
Unused Gifts from God
The same can be said about God and confession. His gift of forgiveness is about spiritual health and well being. God wills only good for us. He is a loving father that wants only the best for us. Yet, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, like my Wii Fit, left unused does me no good. For many years I spurned the gift of Reconciliation, initially petrified to step inside the confessional then apathetic to its healing power. Also, as it is with gifts, while the giver’s feelings may be hurt by a less than joyous reception of the gift, the only one being really hurt is the one not accepting, opening and using it!
Now I go as often as I can, usually opting for the once a month schedule. Like my desk, if I keep up the tidying, it tends to not become unruly or overwhelming. Additionally, due to the healing element of this Sacrament, the more I go, the healthier my soul will be!
All Rights Reserved Allison Gingras, 2017
First appeared on Women in the New Evangelization (WINE) "From The Vine"