The season of Advent is one of great anticipation. We look forward to the celebration of Christ’s miraculous birth and receiving Christ into our hearts. Advent is also a season to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ. We see the signs of Advent all around us - our liturgical colors change to violet, Advent calendars and wreaths track the season, and Mass readings help us prepare our hearts for Jesus’ arrival. We prepare our homes with Christmas adornments and stay busy making dinner plans, traveling, and welcoming friends and relatives into our homes. Most importantly, we must prepare our hearts for Christ’s arrival.
The sacrament of Reconciliation can be intimidating. We’re asked to reflect on the different ways we’ve strayed from the path God has given us through His commandments. We examine how straying from God’s instructions has affected us personally, compromised our relationships with others and separated us from God Himself. Then, we confess our sins to God and ask for forgiveness, which His Son guaranteed us through His sacrifice on the cross. Finally, we vow to be true to Christ by sinning no more.
Reconciliation purifies us for Christ’s arrival by cleansing our souls of sin. This purification is beneficial in so many ways! Reconciliation frees us from sin, through God’s forgiving grace, so that our hearts and minds are free to stop dwelling on past mistakes. Because our souls are pure, we’re readily able to hear the messages of Christ’s love for us. In this state of Grace, it’s easier to witness bountiful blessings in our lives instead of problems, negative feelings and earlier failures. By knowing God’s blessings, we know God’s love for us and believe that, as God’s chosen people, we can bless ourselves, our families and our communities with love by following God’s commandments.
In preparation for welcoming Christ into our hearts, celebrating His birth and looking forward to His second coming, start with a forgiven soul. Take the time to be blessed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Prepare your spirit with reflection, prayer, and confession, knowing that God’s forgiveness welcomes Christ into your hearts, homes and communities.
Middle School Catechist