(A Pre-Sacrament Reflection)
Luke 7:36-50 is, and always has been, a convicting passage for me. If you have a Bible handy, read it; if you are on a computer (which you probably are), stop, copy and paste the scripture into a search engine, and read it…seriously, this blog will probably make a lot more sense if you do.
This scripture tells the story of when Jesus was invited to dinner by the Pharisees and encounters a woman who lived a “sinful life”. Much to the homeowner’s disgust, the woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair. She kissed them. She poured perfume on them. The Pharisees were appalled by what Jesus let her do, but in His boundless love, He taught them and responded:
“Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
In this story, there is a HUGE correlation between forgiveness and love. Each time we seek the Lord’s forgiveness for our sins, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we open ourselves to a multitude of grace. Grace that abounds! Grace that frees us to be in right relationship with God; grace that allows love to flow evermore freely.
I can only imagine the outpouring of grace and love that comes when – even if for only a split second after receiving absolution – we are free from every sin and in perfect union with God! The connection, the love, the sacrifice must be indescribable and unmistakable.
In all this, I cannot help but ask: How great is the Lord?!? How infinite is His wisdom that He would call us to reconcile ourselves to Him; that He would instruct us, through the Church, on how to be in complete union with Himself…on how to love more.
I am so excited for the Sacrament of Reconciliation – SO EXCITED!! I didn’t used to be, and I didn’t think I ever would be: to admit your faults is to be vulnerable, to be humiliated; to confess your sins is to humble oneself before God and concede to His greatness. It is to actualize, in your heart, the true sacrifice Christ made on the cross and to acknowledge that He did it for you…so that you could/can/and always have the opportunity to be in a perfect love relationship with God!
So my prayer as I approach this Sacrament (FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!) is to be completely vulnerable in seeking the Lord’s forgiveness…because if to be forgiven more is to love more, I want to always be in that state of grace – and if that means I live in the confessional, so be it – I want to rest in the freedom to love beyond my sins. Pray for me, I am praying for you.