Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
“Why can’t I just confess my sins to God?” One of the strangest truths about God is that He shares what is properly His with human beings. He worked through Moses to liberate Israel from slavery, He used the prophets to proclaim His word, and in confession, He works through priests to forgive our sins. Saint Paul considers himself to be a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1); and even goes so far as to say that God gave to him and others the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). In other words, God works through people, He reaches us through others, and He gives authority to certain ministers in the church – namely priests. Jesus gave the apostles (the first priests) the authority to forgive sins (John 20:21-23) and that gift has been alive in the Church ever since.
Confessing our sins out loud to another human being is good for us. The chief sin of mankind is pride, and confession is humbling – which is a good thing. There is also such a grace and joy to hearing a priest pray the words of mercy: “May God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Preparing Children for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Our Lady of Peace is a parish that practices the Sacraments of Reconciliation. Your child must attend a 2-year program in our PREP/CCD program to get prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. Once they are in 2 nd grade they will make their Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Your child may continue to attend the PREP/CCD program (grades 3-8) in order to prepare them for their Confirmation. If your child has been Baptized and is in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grade and would like to make their First Holy Communion, they will be placed in the appropriate PREP/CCD class.
As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.