Fifth Sunday of Lent – 13th March 2016

Dear Parishioners,

You may recall a few weeks ago that I quoted Pope Francis stating that we shouldn’t think of sin as a ‘stain’ on the soul that needs washing away but rather as a wound that needs healing. There is a sacrament of this, that heals both spiritually and psychologically: it is the sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession.

In the same interview Pope Francis was asked: “You have said many times, that God never tires of forgiving, it is we who get tired of asking him for forgiveness. Why does God never tire of forgiving us?”

He replied: “Because he is God, because he is mercy, and because mercy is the first attribute of God. Mercy is the name of God.

There are no situations we cannot get out of; we are not condemned to sink into quicksand, in which the more we move the deeper we sink. Jesus is there, his hand extended, ready to reach out to us and pull us out of the mud, out of sin, out of the abyss of evil into which we have fallen. We need only be conscious of our state, be honest with ourselves, and not lick our wounds. We need to ask for the grace to recognize ourselves as sinners. The more we acknowledge that we are in need, the more shame and humility we feel, the sooner we will feel his embrace of grace. Jesus waits for us, he goes ahead of us, he extends his hand to us, he is patient with us. God is faithful. Mercy will always be greater than any sin; no one can put a limit on the love of the all-forgiving God.

Just by looking at him, just by raising our eyes from ourselves and our wounds, we leave an opening for the action of his grace. Jesus performs miracles with our sins, with what we are, with our nothingness, with our wretchedness.

This week the First Holy Communion children from our three schools, Dunsop, Clitheroe and Sabden, will receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

On Tuesday evening at St Michael and St John’s beginning at 6.30pm.

On Wednesday evening at St Mary’s Sabden, beginning at 6pm

Parents and parishioners are invited and encouraged to join with them and take advantage of this opportunity to receive this great sacrament of healing, forgiveness and peace.

Fr John


Posted in Clitheroe, Dunsop Bridge, Sabden, Weekly View.