[At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.] (Jn. 4:43-45)
Jesus was commonplace in His own native town. His neighbors saw nothing special about Him. Though Jesus was “God among them”, inhabitants of His hometown refused to look deeper than skin. They could not see the extraordinary amidst the ordinary. Thankfully others saw signs of the divine in the human such as many people of Galilee and the Apostles.
Normally God works through the ordinary. Jesus (2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity) took to Himself human flesh. Through His humanity He accomplished our salvation by His death. To bystanders His death was ordinary, just another man crucified by the Romans. However we know through the eyes of faith that the extraordinary was achieved in the ordinary.
God continues to engineer the extraordinary in the ordinary most especially in the 7 Sacraments He gifted the human race. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. In the Sacraments very ordinary words and materials are used as vehicles of God’s grace—water, bread, wine, oil, speech, imposition of hands, etc. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a great treasure trove of mercy God gave His Church (see Jn. 20:22-23). We confess our sins audibly to an ordained priest who in turn responds with words. His own words yes, but synonymously Jesus’s— words of forgiveness, healing, and peace.
Today make an examination of conscience, and prepare yourself to infallibly receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. There are lots of opportunities this week and in the coming weeks to go to confession. Also you can always stop a priest whenever you see one and ask him to hear your confession.
Here are two simple ways I like to make my examination of conscience.
Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten me and bring to mind my sins.
1.) Go through the 10 Commandments one by one recalling the sins I’ve committed against each.
2.) Recall the sins I’ve committed
- Against God
- Aganst others
- Against myself
Sometimes it helps to make a list before going into the Confessional, noting the sins I’ve committed and the number of times I’ve committed them.