A Call to Love
This was my homily (more or less) at Mass this morning:
I've been having some great discussions with folks the past few days about Confession. Some have been on the blog site and emails, and the other was Friday night with a group of parishioners in the hall. Some of the same questions arose, like, "I don't really do anything that it that wrong. Why do I need to go to Confession?". Or, "how often should I go to Confession?" When I said, ideally, it should be once a month, they said, "if I went once a month, I wouldn't have anything to confess".
I responded by saying that they should do a more thorough examination of conscience, and suggested that they look more closely at the Ten Commandments and seven deadly sins. But, what we hear in today's Gospel (the greatest commandment, Lk 10:25-37) is reason enough to go to Confession. "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself". Confession is all about mending our relationship with Christ. When we go to Confession, we humbly go to Christ and admit that we have not loved Him and our neighbor as fully as we should, and in specific ways.
None of us is perfect; we all fall short in loving Him will all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Examining our consciences and going to Confession help us to pinpoint how we have fallen short. We become more aware of areas where we need to grow. In the Gospel, Jesus is telling us to be on the look-out for situations where we can love our neighbor. This might involve helping people on the streets or friends who are in need.
We are called to give ourselves fully to God and neighbor... to give everything to Christ. St. Denis and his companions (whose memorial we celebrate today) were called to physically give everything to Christ in the third century in France (as they died martyrs' deaths).
So, as we receive the Eucharist today, let us pray that Christ will fill us with His Grace so that we will give ourselves to Him. He gives Himself to us fully in this sacrament- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. May the grace of this sacrament help us to give ourselves more fully to Him - loving Him with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.