Third Sunday of Lent – Fr. Dustin Collins
March 24, 2019 – 8:30 am
In this world there are those who are blessed with a green thumb and those who seem to only have to look at a plant in order to make it die. If you have not been blessed with a green thumb worry not because our Gospel has nothing to do with our talent or the lack thereof. If we are to bare good fruit we must first allow God to be the one who is found at work within us.
We call this “grace.” Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation. There are two types grace, sanctifying and actual. Sanctifying grace is necessary for us to get to Heaven. Actual grace is God’s help which enlightens our mind that we may do that which is good and come to avoid that which is evil. If we desire to receive this gift called “grace” we do so through prayer, participation in the sacraments, especially the worthy reception of the Most Holy Eucharist.
Seeing that sin harms our relationship with God or even worse, mortal sin, kills our relationship with God and deprives us of grace we need to participate in the sacrament of confession. The sacrament of confession is not a suggestion, but through it we can be healed from our sin and come to receive God’s grace.
If we desire to bare good fruit then we must participate fully in the sacramental life of the Church. We must remember that no plant can survive and bear fruit if it is removed from the ground from which its nutrients flow. So too we must realize the necessity of remaining within the confines of the Church for she exists in order that may be brought to eternal salvation. Within the confines of the Church we find the sacraments, especially the Most Holy Eucharist, which allow God to be made at work within our life.
Seeing that sin hurts this relationship with God and the Church we are in need of the Father’s mercy. One of the precepts of the Church is that a Catholic will go to confession at least once a year. Sadly, there are those who believe they know better then Christ who left us with this sacrament and thus they never go to confession. Sadly, there are parents who don’t take their children to participate in this Sacrament of the Father’s mercy. It is sad to think that for some their first confession was their last confession. We must remember that it was Christ who breathed upon His apostles and said: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven and whose sins you retain are retained.” Let us make a good confession in order that we may be healed of all that ails us and receive grace that we may be sent forth into the Harvest of the Lord to bear good fruit.
On Tuesday at 7pm we will have many priests of our diocese at our parish for its Lenten penance service. If you have been away from the Sacrament of Confession for a long time I invite you to return to this Sacrament of the Father’s Mercy. Come back to the Father’s mercy for you have nothing to fear, realize that you can’t accomplish holiness without a relationship with God and His Church on earth. Let us begin to bear good fruit by allowing God and His grace to always be found at work within our life.