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THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, JANUARY 13, 2022



A Gospel according to Mk 1:40-45


A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,

“If you wish, you can make me clean.”

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,

touched the leper, and said to him,

“I do will it. Be made clean.”

The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.

Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,

but go, show yourself to the priest

and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;

that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.

He spread the report abroad

so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.

He remained outside in deserted places,

and people kept coming to him from everywhere.


REFLECTION

“If you wish, you can make me clean.”


If I could see the state of my soul before confession, would it look like it was covered in leprosy?


What does it take for God to cleanse it? I need to acknowledge my sins before a priest who in persona Christi listens to my confession and grants me absolution.


This Sacrament has many names, here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us about it:


1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.


It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.


1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.


It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."


It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God." He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."


Just like the leper, we want to be clean. The first step is to bring ourselves to Jesus, humble ourselves and go to confession with a priest, and God's mercy will reach and heal our souls once more.


Without priests, we wouldn't have this sacrament that brings us back to God. Let us pray the PAPA Prayer for Priests so this sacrament of renewal is always available to us.


God bless y'all!


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