Catechesis on Reconciliation
Bishop Donal McKeown from the Diocese of Down and Connor, is the Bishop for youth, and is one of the few Bishops to successfully run a marathon. He delivered a Catechesis on Reconciliation in the Youth Space this week.
He explained to the group firstly, that we need to remember that everyone is unique and is made in the image of God. The love of God was revealed through Jesus living and dying for us and for our salvation. The Resurrection of Jesus is an extremely important message because it proves that all the hate and evil in the world cannot destroy Him, and on the last day we will be raised up with Jesus. The world is facing many troubling times right now, but it is very important to remember that there is far more grace in this world than hate.
Bishop Donal continued that confession is not only a place for confessing your sins, it is a way for everyone to realise how much God loves them; how, no matter what I have done wrong, God still loves me; and how, after we are reconciled, we are pure again.
He explained that he finds it amazing that people would prefer to go pay a councillor or go onto national television to talk to someone about problems, rather than go to confession. He believes that not only is there a deep human need for confession, but also, if people regularly attended confession, there would be less need for councillors.
In the question and answer session that followed, Bishop Donal gave us the priest’s view of confession as a privilege, rather than a burden, emphasising that the Lord is longing to forgive whatever we confess and are sorry for, and that we should never leave anything out – because God can handle it.
Later, a story was told about a priest hearing first confessions, when one little boy was very nervous and unsure about what to say. So the priest asked,
Have you done something you want to confess?
Boy (quietly) : Yes Father.
Priest : Do you think it’s a bad sin?
Boy : (Even quieter) Yes Father.
Priest : Well don’t worry, over the years I have heard every sin imaginable apart from someone being a cannibal. You’re not a cannibal, are you?
Boy: (relieved) No Father, of course not…
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