The Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation

PenanceThe sacrament of Penance is also called the Sacrament of Reconciliation, of forgiveness, of conversion, or of confession. Jesus himself instituted the sacrament of Penance when he showed himself to his apostles on Easter day and commanded them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22a – 23).

Nowhere did Jesus express more beautifully what happens in the sacrament of Penance than in the parable of the Prodigal Son: We go astray, we are lost and can no longer cope. Yet our Father waits for us with great, indeed, infinite longing; he forgives us when we come back; he takes us in again, forgives our sins. Jesus himself forgave the sins of many individuals; it was more important to him than working miracles. He regarded this as the great sign of the dawning of the kingdom of God, in which all wounds are healed and all tears are wiped away. Jesus forgave sins in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he handed the power on to his Apostles. We fall into the arms of our heavenly Father when we go to a Priest and confess. 314,524