Third Sunday of Lent | iPray with the Gospel
“There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.'”
When a priest suggested that a certain man go to confession, the man replied that he had no sins to confess because ‘he hadn’t killed anyone’. –‘My friend, answered the priest, ‘it is not only murderers who should go to confession. There are also those who are liars and gossipers, people who are lustful, lazy, vain, proud, ill-tempered, gluttonous, imprudent, dishonest, uncharitable…’ –‘Stop it! Father, stop it!, interrupted the man: ‘Bless me father for I have sinned…’
Everyone has sins and so everyone needs repentance. Another priest came across a parishioner in the street and reminded him that he should go to confession ‘from time to time’. The man answered: –‘But I don’t have any sins, father.’ –‘There are two kinds of people who have no sins’, answered the priest: ‘Children and madmen. Which one are you?’
The first step to conversion is recognising our own sins. God, in his Mercy, is always ready to forgive our sins, but He needs to find in us a repentant heart. As St Augustine put it: “You accuse yourself: God excuses you. You excuse yourself: God accuses you.” But it is hard to admit our mistakes in front of another person, even if that person is a priest.
Holy Mary, give me the courage to recognise my guilt.
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).