Just as last Sunday’s gospel presented us the image of the merciful father who welcomed back and forgave his prodigal son, so today’s gospel tells of the mercy of Jesus toward a woman caught in adultery. Despite her guilt, Jesus does not condemn her, but admonishes her: “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
These are the words with which the Lord also admonishes us in the sacrament of penance. Confident in God’s mercy, we confess our sins. We express our resolve in the Act of Contrition, “With thy help I will sin no more.” However, like Saint Paul’s confession in the Second Reading, “It is not that I have already…attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it…” The attainment of that “perfect maturity” is our life’s work and may seem to be just beyond our grasp. Fortunately Christ has taken possession of us–he has purchased us at the price of his Precious Blood. So, in the sacrament of penance, in the confession of our sins, we turn ourselves over to our merciful Lord and, with him, continue the journey toward the resurrection, “the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” (Second Reading)
The sacrament of penance is available at St. Charles on Mondays at 5:00 PM and Saturdays at 3:00 PM, and at St. Peter on Saturdays at 6:00 PM. Take advantage of this opportunity or any other to complete your preparation for Easter by making a good confession. Easter will be here before we know it!
Holy Week begins next weekend with the celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all Masses next weekend. Weather permitting, the 9:00 Mass will begin outside behind St. Peter’s School and the 10:30 Mass will begin outside behind St. Charles Church with the blessing of palms and procession to the church. Plan also to participate in the solemn liturgies of the Easter Triduum, which commemorate the events from the Last Supper through the resurrection.
Please remember and try to attend the Stations of the Cross and Benediction at 6:00 PM Wednesdays at St. Charles during Lent. The Stations are celebrated at St. Peter’s along with the Mother of Perpetual Help Novena on Monday evenings at 7:00 and with the students of St. Peter’s School on Thursday at 12:00 noon. Try to participate with the members of your household at any of these times. These devotions are great for families and remind us all of the redemptive sacrifice of our Lord, which is the source of all sacramental grace and serves as a fitting preparation for the liturgies of Holy Week.
Pray the Rosary this week for all who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter, and for the young people of our parish preparing for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Pray for Christians who are suffering persecution around the world and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.