“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
THURSDAY: 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM at the Historic Church
SATURDAY: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM at the Parish Center
Jesus Came to Forgive Sins
The angel told St. Joseph in a dream, "You are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). By forgiving sins, Jesus reconciles us with the Father and makes us holy.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his Apostles and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn. 20:22-23). This is the biblical roots of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession. It also shows where Jesus passes on to priests His mission and authority to forgive sins in His name.
In order for sins to be forgiven, a person must be sorry for them. A person must also have a “firm purpose of amendment” - the intention to avoid the sin and the “occasion of sin” in the future. An “occasion of sin” is a person, place, or thing that provokes sinful behavior.
Not all sins are the same. Some are “mortal.” Others are “venial.” Mortal sin is a direct, conscious, and free violation of one of the Ten Commandments in a serious way. It wrecks the grace of Baptism. As part of God's plan, all mortal sins committed after Baptism must be confessed to a priest in order to be forgiven.
Venial sin is less grave than mortal sin. It does not wreck the grace of Baptism but tarnishes it. The Church recommends – but doesn’t require – the confession of venial sins. If you are unsure whether a sin is “mortal” or “venial,” ask the priest. Always feel free to ask him questions.
The “Examination of Conscience” below is a wonderful aid to preparing for a good confession. Most parishes schedule weekly confessions, often on Saturdays. You may also call the Rectory Office and make a confession appointment with a priest.