Watch: On the Road to Emmaus w/ Bishop Boyea | Week 9

Friday, August 11, 2023

Feast of Saint Clare of Assisi

Dear Sisters and brothers in Christ,

“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” So says Jesus as recorded in Saint John’s Gospel. Even being a priest, I am always astounded by Christ’s grant of forgiving authority to human beings. Angels being forgivers I could see! But sinners forgiving sinners! It just doesn’t make sense. And yet, that is what our Lord did. 
And, so, it is to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that I want to turn my attention during our ninth week together On the Road to Emmaus. Why? Because we know that forgiving sins was the crucial aspect of Christ’s own ministry. He came to reconcile us with his Father and that meant that our sins had to be forgiven. From the beginning of his ministry until his last words upon the cross, forgiveness of sins was his work, his ministry. That divine ministry now continues through his Holy Church. 
In order to stand worthily in the presence of the Holy One, though, we really need to be freed of all that has alienated us from the Father, all those negative choices we have made which have been contrary to real love but have instead been expressions of our selfish love. This is especially true if we are in a state of mortal sin which, of course, is a bar to receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion. 
Hence to this week’s challenge. Here it is: Receive the Father's mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation over the next seven days and offer thanks to the Father for Christ's sacrifice for your personal sin. Here is a short film which, I think, captures the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and its umbilical relationship to a worthy and fruitful reception of Holy Communion. 

+ Earl Boyea

Bishop of Lansing