The Eucharist and Confession together
Sunday Homily for February 22, 2009
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (7B)
By Father Cusick
The scribes learned their catechism very well: "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mark 2: 7)
Alas, today many people have no problem believing that they can forgive their own sins. And they do so. Any Catholic who goes for years without benefit of the sacrament of Confession must believe so, for as John teaches, "he who says he is without sin is a liar."
Catholics at Mass go to Communion in large numbers without first discerning through an examination of conscience whether or not they are spiritually prepared to do so. To receive the Body and Blood of Christ while conscious of serious sin is a sacrilege. The Sacrament of Confession is the means commanded by Christ for the forgiving of serious sins. To reject the Sacrament of Confession is to reject the divinity of Christ and Christ Himself.
Christ has been revealed that we may believe totally in him, that we may totally follow him. Salvation comes to us through the acceptance of love of the whole Christ, in all His Sacraments, in the whole Gospel, not just those parts that we find personally appealing.
The Eucharist and Confession together work toward the salvation of souls.
By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins -- that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church. (CCC 1395)
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy."