(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2017
May 24, 2017
Dear Family of Mary!
July 2, 2011 “Dear children; today I call you to a difficult and painful step for your unity with my Son. I call you to complete admission and confession of sins, to purification. An impure heart cannot be in my Son and with my Son. An impure heart cannot give the fruit of love and unity. An impure heart cannot do correct and just things; it is not an example of the beauty of God’s love to those who surround it and to those who have not come to know that love. You, my children, are gathering around me full of enthusiasm, desires and expectations, and I implore the Good Father to, through the Holy Spirit, put my Son faith, into your purified hearts. My children, obey me, set out with me.”
Yesterday Fr. Glen Sudona gave a wonderful homily on Confession. I realize not all of you can go to the archives to listen, so I transcribed it! Thanks to Fr. Glen for such a beautiful exhortation!
Fr. Glen Sudano, CFR. Homily for English Mass in Medjugorje, May 23, 2017
One word that is very important today is the word, “confession.” And you know that Medjugorje is really noted for healing. And while Lourdes is known for the healing of the body, here it is noted for the healing of the soul. And quite frankly if you had to choose a healing, choose the healing of your soul! Because we all have to give up the body some time. But the soul lives forever. And so it is all important that we make a good confession.
Outside in the confessional area you will see a statue of a priest, a Capuchin Franciscan. His name is St. Leopold of Mandic. Do notice that the statue is a life-sized statue. Fr. Leopold was 4foot 5 inches tall. A little man, but as the saying goes, great things come in small packages. And like St. John of the Cross and Mother Teresa and a number of saints, what they lacked in height they had in holiness.
And so for ourselves we want to grow in many areas in our life, so when we are young we want to grow up; then when you grow old, you grow out; and then you grow grey; then you grow deaf – I said, THEN YOU GROW DEAF! And we want to grow financially, and all these things are good things, and understandable things. But there is a growth in holiness. And that is often neglected. We want to grow in many areas, but not to grow holy.
So it’s not a matter of the height, but of the depth of a person. This is why confession is all important, because Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” And the branches, He says, need to be pruned. Those of you who have a garden or know anything about gardening, know that you have to take away the weeds and the dead things in order to produce greater fruit or flowers. Same thing with the soul. We have to sever things from us that are sapping the life from the soul.
There are some people who are daily communicants, which is wonderful. But they don’t go to confession. And this is why you can go to communion every day, and you know what is happening to your soul? Nothing! If you are in a state of mortal sin, something is happening and it is not good. However, if you put seed in sand, do you know what happens to the seed? Nothing. So it is important that we make a good confession.
We have this idea that the Church is sort of like a spiritual organization, and Jesus is alive, and that is sort of a spiritual thing. NO…Jesus rose from the dead. He told Thomas, “Touch me and see that I am not a ghost.” Too many people, including Catholics, want the Church to be a ghost. They want it to be this ephemeral thing that doesn’t really communicate, doesn’t really say anything, or if it says anything you can’t really trust it, so I will live my life…NO! Jesus has a body! A resurrected body, and this is the Mystical Body of Christ, and that is why we have to be united to the vine, physically. Not just simply spiritually.
Some people say, well I don’t like going to church on Sunday. The priest is boring, and the choir is awful, so on Sunday I go to the beach, and I run along the beach, and I listen to my iPod, and I am inspired. I know the Bible better now, and I am just a better person. Fine, you want to do that, do that on Monday! Christ requires us, He wants us united to His Body. When you go to receive Holy Communion, the priest doesn’t say “Spirit of Christ”, “Wisdom of Christ”, “Knowledge of Christ…” He says “The Body of Christ!”
When you go to confession you encounter the Body of Christ, through the priest. It’s the Body of Christ. Saying your sins to the wall next to your bed may make you feel good for a little bit, but in the long run nothing ever happens. So this is why we have to go to confession and we have to unite ourselves to the Body of Christ. We have to go out. It is not just simply spiritual, but it is something physical and spiritual.
We celebrate and profess the Incarnation. “Carnes” in Latin means “flesh”. Incarnation is God took on flesh in Christ. The Incarnation continues after the Risen Christ ascends into Heaven. It continues in a new body, the Church. Now it is true that sometimes the Body of the Church on a local level we may not like, but you know what, when Jesus appeared in the upper room, He appeared with wounds. The Church is wounded. But you know what? It still is the Mystical Body of Christ. This is why, as a Catholic Christian, we go to Confession.
The little sins, whatever, you say your act of contrition. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of Mass we have a little time for absolution for the venial sins. Alms giving. The reception of Holy Communion brings forgiveness of sins. But you know what, if you throw a leaf on a pond, it remains on the water. If you throw a stone on a pond, it sinks to the bottom. Heavy things sink to the bottom. So this is why it is important for us to understand the difference between that which just floats on the surface that can be skimmed off and that which goes down deep.
Go before the statue of St. Leopold of Mandic. And if you go to Padua, don’t only visit St. Anthony, visit this man. His arm is preserved, because of the many times in which he gave Absolution. Go to St. Leopold and say, “St. Leopold, I know what is on the surface, you reveal to me what is in the center of my soul.” And then go to Confession. Anger, unforgiveness, ingratitude. God keeps all of us alive. And do you think he gets a thank you? Did you thank God for your eye this morning? Did you thank Him for your hearing? Did you thank Him that you are not in pain? How many thank Him, and yet He does all these things, and we are so ungrateful. Is that a leaf or is that a stone? To me it is a stone, because I like to be thanked. I like to be recognized. And I’m not God. God deserves it, I may not.
So brothers and sisters, do yourself a favor, do your spouse a favor, do your children a favor, do your parents a favor, do your neighbor a favor, make a very, very good confession. And when you finish, you will not only feel better, you will be better. May Christ be praised.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2017