June 16, 2013 –– Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of stewardship to accept involves how we follow our faith — how we live out our Catholic beliefs. One of our sacraments is the sacrament of reconciliation. Today’s readings deal with that sacrament.
In the first reading from Samuel, King David is chastised by the prophet Nathan for his sinfulness. David, recognizing and acknowledging his sin, says, “I have sinned against the LORD.” He is forgiven. That same theme is followed in the Gospel of Luke, which tells the story of the sinful woman who enters the house of Simon the Pharisee to honor Jesus. Like David she recognizes her sinfulness, and Jesus says to her, “Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The good steward understands the importance of spiritual healing. The Sacrament of Penance is the Sacrament of this spiritual healing. It involves contrition, confession to a priest, absolution by the priest, and penance.
Some theologians have referred to reconciliation as “the more difficult Baptism.” None other than St. Ambrose, one of the original four doctors of the Church, drew a comparison between Baptism and Reconciliation: “There are water and tears; the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance.” We, too, need to strive to hear “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”