confession

The Gospel from the first Sunday after Easter (John 20:19-31) recalls on the evening of the Resurrection, Jesus appears to the Apostles in the Upper Room and establishes the Sacrament of Reconciliation in His Catholic Church, for them and for us.  An excerpt:

 [19] On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” [20] When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  [21] Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”  [22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  [23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Jesus establishes the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a decisive way:

  • Jesus first tells them that He has been sent by the Father and that He is sending them.
  • But sending the Apostles to do what?  Institute the Sacrament of Reconciliation!
  • Jesus says, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
  • This bestowal of the authority on the Apostles to forgive sins echoes Jesus’ words to Peter earlier (“bind and loose” – Matt 16:19, 18:18).
  • This ministry of reconciliation, continues with the Apostles in the New Testament (2 Cor 5:18-29; Jas 5:14-15) and the Church has definitely taught that Jesus actions establishes the Sacrament of Reconciliation (CCC 976, 1441, 1461).

Jesus came to the Apostles in the Upper Room immediately after His Resurrection to establish the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Clearly, Jesus is signaling the importance of Reconciliation, for it’s one of the first things He does.

Like Jesus made Reconciliation a priority, so should we.  Repent and go to Reconciliation.