2 July, Friday — Let’s wash our linens clean!

Friday of Week 13 in Ordinary Time

Gen 23:1-4,19;24:1-8,62-67
Mt 9:9-13

“It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick.”

When I read today’s Gospel, an immediate thought that came to mind was the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why? Because by confessing our sins to Christ through the priest as an instrument of God, Jesus would forgive us of our sins through His infinite and divine mercy, and free us from the heavy weight upon our heart that our sins have caused us.

Some time this week, I invited my Catholic friends to go for confession. They flatly refused, on the basis that they didn’t see a need to confess their sins since it wasn’t the stipulated obligatory penitential service period. I was greatly disappointed and saddened in their refusal to receive such a beautiful sacrament. But I have decided to pray for their hearts to be more open and willing to receive God’s grace and mercy.

Confession is like a washing machine, where we put in our dirty linens to wash, and after the washing cycle is done, they come out fresh and clean again. We feel happy when our linens are free of dirt and stains, and likewise, we should feel the same joy when we leave the confessional.

But how do we know when we are in need of confession, if we have not committed any grave sins? (You will need to go to confession every time you are conscious of having committed grave sins.)

Some people say every week, others say every month, and yet others are content with the minimum requirement of once every year. When is it a good time to go for confession? And how do we make a good confession?

Brothers and sisters, confession should be seen as an opportunity to receive God’s love and to repair our relationship with God and with the Church, instead of being seen as a mandatory obligation to fulfil just so that one can receive communion. Every good confession requires time, with a good examination of conscience as preparation. Furthermore, it requires a sincere contrition for our sins and a desire to repent.

Let us learn to embrace this sacrament and to ‘wash ourselves clean’ in the presence of Jesus Christ.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to have the grace and courage to go for the Sacrament of Reconciliation whenever we feel the need to reconcile with You and receive Your love. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us so freely and generously Your divine mercy through this wonderful and beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation. Amen.

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