Ash Wednesday 2/22/12
In the second reading Paul tells us to “be reconciled to God.” That word reconcile has taken on importance in the Church. What we used to call “going to confession,” or “receiving the Sacrament of Penance” is now called the “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
The Church has changed the name because she felt the old names didn’t describe what happens. “Going to confessions” describes our part of the interaction, but it says nothing of what God does when we go into the box. Likewise, saying we “receive the Sacrament of Penance” falls short of describing what happens.
“Reconciliation” is not a word use by the kids on my block. We would need to be told that it means “making up” or “becoming friends again." It is needed after some unpleasantness has put us at a distance from one another.
Let’s put aside any discussion of the Sacrament we used to call “going to confession.” Paul didn’t have that in mind when he said, “be reconciled to God.” What he had in mind for us is that we should “make up” with God. When something unpleasant occurs between friends, and they want to make up, they just get rid of the unpleasantness so they can rekindle their close friendship.
So, what is the unpleasantness that keeps you from being intimate with God the way you once were? Have you let your health slide? Have you chose to ignore another of God’s children? Have you given up spending time alone with God?
Perhaps it will take more than a day for you to make things right with God. Well, as of today you have all of lent to build up good habits that will have you reconciled with God all the way.