One afternoon the parish priest (maybe Fr. Alex) was getting ready to hear confessions. As he entered the confessional room, which had a divider in it, he found a man already in the room waiting for him. The man told the parish priest, “It’s been 45 years since I’ve been to confession. I am impressed how things have changed. The room is well lit, it’s nice easy chair to sit in, a bottle of scotch, some nice cigars. It wasn’t that way the last time I went.” The parish priest said, “yes, it is rather comfortable, but where you are sitting is my side of the confessional room.” I thought I might say something about confession today. The sacrament referred to as “confession” is also called the sacrament of penance or reconciliation. I thought the topic might be appropriate because of today’s gospel where Jesus, as he had done many times in the gospels, demonstrates God’s merciful love. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. And that’s the purpose of confession or reconciliation. In the old days, which some of you remember, the priest often thought his job was to scold the penitent. Many people never came back because of that. If you -ind this in your life, I tell you, get up and leave. Go to someone else who sees their role as that of Christ who offers freedom from guilt and shame and a sense of God’s peace. Imagine how this woman in the gospel was changed by her encounter with Christ.
El evangelio de hoy nos habla sobre el sacramento de la confesió n o reconciliació n. Este es uno de los siete sacramentos que tenemos en la Iglesia. A través de este sacramento, uno experimenta el amor de Dios y su misericordia. Jesú s, el Hijo de Dios, no vino a condenar sino a salvarnos. Y este es el propó sito del sacramento de la confesió n. Tal vez algunos de ustedes se acuerden que en tiempo pasado, algunos curas aprovechaban este sacramento para regañ ar a la gente. Me imagino que mucha gente nunca mas volvió a recibir este sacramento porque la triste experiencia que tuvieron con ciertos curas. La verdad es que hay veces que es necesario que alguien nos haga ver nuestros errores, pero esto tiene que ser de una manera en la que se exprese la ternura y el amor de Dios. En el evangelio de hoy no escuchamos a Jesú s reganando a la mujer pecadora, sino mas bien extendiéndole el perdó n y el amor de Dios.
Fr. Alex Urena