Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Today’s Gospel reading contains a key passage for our Catholic faith.  Jesus gives His apostles the power to forgive sins on His behalf; the sacrament of reconciliation.  What an awesome gift!

Face it, we’re all sinners.  We can’t help it.  We’re born that way.  We’re all burdened with original sin and a tendency to commit sins if we’re not careful.  No matter how good our intentions, we just can’t be 100% sin free.  Only one human being has ever been sin-free and we venerate her as the Mother of God.  You and me…not so much.

But there’s good news and bad news and more good news.  The good news is that we can pay a visit to the confessional and be washed clean of our sins.  God gave this power to His apostles and their successors.  Father Gary, just like every priest in the world, can forgive us of our sinfulness.  We’re washed clean, ready to start with a clean slate.  The bad news is that we all know that our state of grace is only temporary because we’re going to sin again.  More good news is that we can come back again and be forgiven again.  As much as we’re prone to sin, God has more forgiveness than we have sinfulness.  Like I said, it’s a great gift.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but don’t be a stranger to the confessional.  Far from being the scary place that we might imagine it to be, it’s there for us to visit often, to confess our sins and to have them washed away.

The days of the fire and brimstone priest are long gone.  There’s nothing that our priests haven’t heard before and they’re not going to condemn you for being human.  Check it out if you haven’t been in a while.

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