32. Through confession, Jesus forgives by means of the priest

  Introduction

    One of the most poignant Gospel's passages is the parable of the prodigal son, which narrates the behaviour of an ungrateful son with his father. There were two brothers, and the younger left their home. After asked his father for his inheritance he went to a far country, where he squandered all his money leading a bad life. Then, he must to herd pigs in order to survive, until the day he felt shame and decided to return to his father's house and ask for forgiveness: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you' (Luke 15, 18). His father, who was waiting fot him, met him and kissed him, and his joy was so great that he ordered the servants to prepar a banquet and a party to celebrate the return of his younger son.

    This parable helps us to better understand the sacrament of penance, the one about God's mercy.

  A. Answer with one of the following words: prodigal, glad, house, inheritance, death, life, forgiveness, money, concert, banquet.

 The Gospel narrates the parable of the … son

  He asked his father for his

  He spent all his money leading a bad

  He repented of his sins and asked his father for

  His father, joyful, prepared a






  Main ideas

1. Sacraments of healing

   We have studied the sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, which bring us a new life in Christ. But, even though the grace, mankind is weak, and we may sin and suffer again the bitterness of sin.

    Christ wanted a cure for these problems inside the Church, and we can find it in the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the sick, called healing sacraments because they heal us from weakness and forgive our sins.

2. To save ourselves, we must repent from our sins

   There are no salvation without the repentance of sins, something absolutely necessary to everybody who has offended God. Jesus said: '...but unless you repent you will all perish as they did' (Luke 13,3).

    Before the coming of Jesus, men have no security about the forgiveness of their sins. He brought us safety, by the words: 'Your sins are forgiven' (Matthew 9,2).

3. The institution of the sacrament of Penance to forgive sins

   On the Easter Sunday evening, Christ introduced the sacrament of Penance by saying to his disciples:'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.' (John 20,22-23). He introduced the sacrament as a matter of judgement, but in a merciful way, so that the Apostles and their legitimate heirs could forgive sins.

    'What depths of mercy there are in God's justice! For, in the judgments of men, he who confesses his fault is punished: and in the Judgment of God, he is pardoned. Blessed be the holy Sacrament of Penance!' (The Way, 309).

    This sacrament is called of conversion, reconciliation or confession.

4. Jesus himself, as priest, is who absolves us

   Only priests, with the authority given only to them by Jesus, can forgive sins. There are not absolution telling our sins to a friend or directly to God. Besides, at the absolution Christ himself is the one who absolve us through the priest. Sin is an insult to God and only He can forgive it. A priest must maintain the sacramental seal- and is severe forced to do it-.

  B. There are 5 true sentences and 3 wrong ones. Choose the correct ones.

 The sacraments of Chirstian initiation are: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

  Thanks to God's mercy, men cannot commit sin

  The sacraments of healing are the Penance and the Anointing of the sick

  God forgives us even without our remorse

 Jesus instituted the Penance on an Easter Sunday

 The Apostles and their heirs can forgive sins

 Any Christian could forgive sins

 A priest must maintain the sacramental seal.

5. Effects of the sacraments

   The effects of the sacrament are truly wonderful:

    - Reconciliation with God, forgiving sin to recover the sanctifying grace.

    - Reconciliation with the Church.

    - Remission of the eternal punishment of sin and the temporal punishments- at least partially.

    - Peace and serenity, with our conscience finding spiritual relief.

    - Spiritual aids for a Christian, avoiding relapse in sin.

6. Neccesity of Penance

   The sacrament of Penance is absolutely needed for those who have commited mortal sin. The Church teaches that there are an obligation of confessing mortal sins at least once a year, in danger of death and to receive the Holy Communion.

    But there are a difference between obligation and necessity of loving God. There is no real necessity to kissing our mother, to greeting our friends or to do jogging, but to do it is very common. If we wanted to grow in Christ's love, we must frequently confess, and do it in a proper way.

7. Benefits of a frequent confession

   The Church recomends a frequent confession, not only of mortal sins, which must be promptly confessed, but also of the venial ones. In this way, our own knowledge is increased; humility grows; bad habits are eradicated; indiference and spiritual sluggishness are cleaned; conscience takes form and is purified; our spiritual life is better and grace increases under the sacrament. To grow in God's love, a confession done frequently and in a good mood is very useful.


Curso de Catequesis. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells y Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. Reproduced with the permission of the authors.


  C. There are 5 true sentences and 3 false ones. Choose the right ones.

 Thanks to Penance and Confession we recover the sanctifying grace

 Eternal and temporal punishment are forgiven

 We can recover peace and serenity of conscience

 After confess, we never commit sin again

 Penance and Confession are necessaries if we have commited mortal sin

 We are forced to confess every week

 To grow in God's love we must confess ourselves frequently

 With Confession aur sanctifying grace is increased

  Questions from the catechism

1. How can we obtain absolution for sins commited after the baptism?  The absolution for sins commited after the baptism can be obtained by the sacrament of penance.

2. When we receive the sacrament of Penance?  We receive the sacrament of Penance when we make a good confession and receive absolution.

3. Who has the power to forgive sins?  The Pope, bishops and authorized priests have the power to forgive sins.

4. Which are the effects of the sacrament of Penance?  The effects of the sacrament of penance are the reconciliation with God and the Church, the remission of the eternal and temporal punishment- at least partially- the peace and serenity of conscience and the aid for avoiding relapse in sin.

5. Which is the Church's second commandment?  The Church's second commandment is: to confess mortal sins at least once a year, in danger of death and before receiving Holy Communion.

6. Who are forced by the second commandment of the Church?  The second commandment of the Church forces all Christians who have reached the age of reason and are in mortal sin.

  D. Choose the right answer. Options are below

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

 How can we obtain absolution for sins commited after the baptism?

 When we receive the sacrament of Penance?

 Who has the power to forgive sins?

 Which are the effects of the sacrament of Penance?

 Which is the Church's second commandment?

 Who are forced by the second commandment of the Church?


 POSSIBLE ANSWERS
 A  The reconciliation with God and the Church, the remission of the eternal and temporal punishment- at least partially- the peace and serenity of conscience and the aid for avoiding relapse in sin.
 B  By the sacrament of penance.
 C  The Pope, bishops and authorized priests.
 D  All Christians who have reached the age of reason and are in mortal sin.
 E  To confess mortal sins at least once a year, in danger of death and before receiving Holy Communion.
 F  When we make a good confession and receive absolution.

  Intentions for a Christian life

- We must show great love and fondness for the sacrament of Penance.

- To be determined to receive it frequently and in a proper mood.



 
If you are registered, please enter your data:
 
Name:

Password:

 

Registration Information

| Educational applications | Religión |
| In Spanish | To print |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL