Posted on Apr 10, 2019 by

[Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.]. (Jn. 8:31-36)

Why do so many of us stay away from the Sacrament of Confession?  Some recent studies show that only 25% of Catholics attend Mass on Sunday, and presumably the percentage of Catholics who take advantage of God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Confession is even less.

I think the answer to our question is vividly seen in the response of the Jews in our Gospel today.  Jesus tells them that the truth will set them free.  They are bewildered;

They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” (Jn. 8:33)

Why would they need to be liberated if they have nothing to be liberated from?  I think this is our hang up as well.  We don’t know or believe we need to be liberated from anyone or anything. We have lost a sense of sin and the havoc sin reaps on our souls.

According to Jesus’ own words, “Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin” (Jn. 8:34).  Further, St. Paul says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rm. 8:23). We all sin, and sin keeps us out of heaven.  By His cross Jesus makes it possible for us to enter heaven.  We all screw up once in a while, and so we NEED  mercy and forgiveness.

Mercifully God gave the power to forgive sins to His Church (cf. Jn. 20:22-23 & Mt. 16:19). Jesus’s forgiveness is not a vague fuzzy feeling, but words of truth spoken from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

If you haven’t gone to the Sacrament of Confession this Lent, I strongly urge you to go before Easter.  No matter how long it has been since your last confession or how awful you think your sins are, God desires to forgive you. He wants you to ask for forgiveness because He desires to restore you to life.  Give Jesus the opportunity to speak His words of forgiveness and mercy to you in the Sacrament of Confession.

“God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
—Words of Absolution