Spiritual Resurrection Homily April 6, 2014
is a time of penance, a special time for our purification, and for
reconciliation with God. This Sunday we will have our Lenten penitential
service, and I had not had the opportunity to speak about confession before.
Let me reflect on the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation, in the
light of the Gospel we have read today.
the Gospel Jesus works the resurrection of a real dead, Lazarus of Bethany. In
Confession, Jesus works the resurrection of our soul. Confession is a spiritual
resurrection. And it is so, also, when our sins are not grave, because
confession always raises us up to a renewal of our spiritual life and our love.
Confession always gives new life.
wonder why Christians sometimes don’t like to do confession, or don’t do it
more often. What is the problem? Let us look at the Gospel.
1. Lazarus had been
dead for four days. His own sister said to Jesus that there was already a
stench. But for Jesus that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to what degree of
corruption our heart has arrived. It doesn’t matter how far we have gone in our
addictions, in our vices, in our disorders. Jesus is God, he can create in us a
pure heart. Magdalene rose up from her sins of impurity to a life of penance
similar to the life of John the Baptist. She was forgiven. Zaccheus
rose up from a life of corruption to a life of justice, giving back all he had
stolen and giving even more to the poor. He was forgiven. St. Paul rose up from
pride and persecution, from violence and Phariseism to a passionate love for
Christ and his Church. He was forgiven. We can also be a miracle of the mercy
of God. He always forgives. He just needs us to open the door, to roll back the
2. Lazarus returns to
his normal life. Confession does not transform you into a strange person,
someone scary. Some people think that frequent confession is something proper to
a saint, and they think that a saint is a kind of strange being, similar to a
beautiful statue that nobody can touch, or someone who lives in a different
world, an ideal world of piety. First, frequent confession is not the proper of
a saint but of a sinner. You ask for forgiveness because you are conscious that
you have sinned. Second, to be a saint does not transport you to a different
world. To be a saint incarnates you more and more in reality. To be a saint is
to love your neighbour, and when you love you act, you do things, you speak, you get involved.
sacrament of reconciliation gives us new life, a new life that makes our human
life more beautiful. John Paul II was a saint: he was normal, he was just
great. Gianna Beretta Molla, mother of four children,
was a saint. When they came to the door of her husband from the Vatican, to say
to him that they wanted to canonize her, her husband just said: “But she was
just a normal woman, she was my wife…” Dear brothers and sisters, I have to say
that you yourselves don’t realize that you are saints sometimes. When you
suffer so simply for your children that don’t come to Mass, or when you live so
joyfully your Christian life, when you help so gladly people around you, when
you suffer so firmly the backslashes of life, you are doing things that are
proper to saints. You are being normal, but according to the norm of God, which
3. Lazarus does not do
anything. He is dead. It is not so difficult to do confession. The only thing
you need is to have committed a sin. You don’t need to suffer; the one who
cries is Jesus. If we have died because of our sins, we need to remember that
we have a friend that cried for that, and wants to wake us up, so that we may
eat and drink again with him. We have just to roll back the stone. The stone of our self-sufficiency, the stone of our lack of
faith in the sacrament of reconciliation, the stone of laziness, the stone of
despair in the power of God. When we roll back the stone, the voice of Jesus
can reach the bottom of the tomb, and even if there is a stench in our heart we
can come back to life.
the Lord grant us confidence in the power of Jesus to forgive.
May the Lord grant us a great hope in his merciful love.
He could not do more to forgive our sins. Let us give him the opportunity to be
good to us, to love us and transform our lives. –Fr. Andrew