Fr Frank writes:
My dear friends,
Today marks a new beginning as we contemplate the teaching of Jesus revealed in the Gospel readings throughout Ordinary Time – we are no longer focussed on the ‘how’ or ‘when’ of Christmas, but on the ‘why?’. Why did Christ become one of us? It is his teaching which reveals this.
The forgiveness Jesus came to bring is emphasised in today’s Gospel reading in which St John the Baptist points to Jesus and says: ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world’. Familiar words as they have formed part of the Mass for centuries: words that point to Jesus, the one who takes our sins upon himself.
Thinking about the forgiveness that Jesus won for us causes us to look to the future (contemplating new beginnings). True, we need to look back too, but only in order to learn from our individual mistakes. We need to be aware of the danger of becoming weighed down or oppressed by guilt – something which should have no place in our lives. The whole purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is to remind us that through the death and resurrection of Christ (the Lamb of God), the Eternal Father has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. The truth is that our past sins, once confessed, are forgiven so that we can put them where they belong – in the past. The Sacrament promotes a reflective attitude, but so that we can learn and thus be set free. It is rightly focussed on our future, on making a new beginning.
On this Peace Day, I pray that the Peace of the Lord may be with you always.
Our minister, on entering the church and finding water on the floor (due to burst pipes), said later, “So I went into the church and mopped the floor with my wife.”