Corpus Christi & the New Covenant

My priest said something during his homily that made me think of this.  At the Last Supper, Christ gave the wine to his disciples and told them it was His blood, the blood of the new covenant.  Well, what is a covenant?  Basically, it is an agreement.  However, it’s not like a contract between two parties.  It is much more.  The new covenant is a sacred covenant, sealed by the blood shed by Christ on the cross.  It replaces the old covenant of Moses where he sprinkled bull’s blood on the people to seal the covenant.

You are free to enter the new covenant…and you are free to break the covenant.  One mortal sin and you have broken the covenant.  One mortal sin and you have separated yourself from God.  One mortal sin and you will go to hell if you die with that sin still on your soul.

I’ve been thinking a lot about confession lately.  Over the last few years, I have made the effort to go regularly.  My goal is to go once a month, more often if needed.  Sometimes it turns out to be about three months in between confessions.  The point is, I make a serious effort to go on a regular basis.  So many people I know think it is unnecessary.  It most certainly is necessary!  It exists for a reason–so you can reconcile yourself with God after you have sinned.  You are the prodigal son.  Recognize how you’ve sinned against God and return to Him through the door of the confessional.

I promise you, the words of absolution at the end will be like music to your ears.  You may even weep.  There is joy in being reconciled with God.

If you read this, and you haven’t been to confession in a long time, I urge you with every fiber of my being to go back to confession.  If you are unsure about how to go about it, find a book or web site about preparing for confession.  During the sacrament, the priest will help you.  It’s his job to lead people to heaven.  He is a servant of God.  Remember how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples as an example to serve people?  The priest is here to serve you.  He will be glad to listen to you, to explain to you, and to assist you during your confession.

What is necessary for a good confession?  Well, first of all, pray beforehand.  Pray to make a good confession.  Pray for the proper regret and sorrow you should feel at having wronged such a good and amiable God.

Recall every single sin you can; recalling if you have broken any of the 10 Commandments is a great way to start.  Have you missed mass or any holy days of obligation without asking your priest for special dispensation first?  Has it been more than a year since your last confession?  Have you been taking communion even though you haven’t been reconciled with God (profaning the body of Christ and bringing judgment on yourself)?  Make a note of your sins if you need, so that you can confess them all.  Keep this note private and destroy it afterward.  It is nobody else’s business.  You might even note your sins in such a way that nobody else would understand should they find the paper.

You must have your mind set on giving up your sins (repentance).  Do you look at pornography (a mortal sin)?  Do you masturbate (a mortal sin)?  Do you blow off a good portion of your work day (stealing your wage from your boss)?  If you’re a seller, do you cheat on weights & measures (stealing)?  Do you lust (adultery)?  Do you skip mass (not keeping the Sabbath holy)?  Whatever your sins, you must fully set your sights on giving up those sins.

Once in the confessional, be sure to say how long it’s been since your last confession (even if you say it’s been forty years).  You must tell the priest every sin you can recall and tell how many times if possible.  You must have it in your heart not to sin again (repentance).  If you don’t confess everything, if you plan to continue looking at pornography, for example, your confession will not be valid.

You end with the Act of Contrition.  If you don’t know it, just ask the priest.  He will help.

He’ll give you a penance (generally some prayers).  The penance you receive will be much less than you deserve.  Centuries ago, a penance could last years.  These days there is no sack cloth and ashes, so don’t complain about whatever penance you may receive.

Make the sacrament of reconciliation something you do every month at least.  You know you are a sinner.  If you don’t think you have sinned, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Analyze your life.

You need Jesus.  Jesus wants you.  Every baptized person is baptized into the Body of Christ, but you cut yourself off from the Body by sin.  Go to confession and reattach yourself.

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Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 22:08  Leave a Comment  

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