Confession Heals the Unknown Sinner

Confession1In John 4 Jesus sits at the well with the Samaritan woman and has a conversation with her that would transform her for life.  A turning point in that conversation takes place when Jesus tells her secrets about her life.  He knew that she was living in an illegitimate relationship and had been divorced 5 times.

This did not drive the woman to shame.  Rather, she acknowledged him as a prophet.  Finally, Jesus revealed to her who he was: the Messiah.  The woman ran to tell the whole town about him.  She described him as the one who told her everything about her.

Why was she not driven to shame by this man who told her about her little dark secret?  It was because he KNEW her and he was the Messiah.  And the Messiah loves the ones that he knows.

During Lent, we try our best to not hide ourselves from the Lord but allow him to tell us about ourselves, even the darkest parts of ourselves.  You see, Jesus knows you.  And he loves you.  The greatest human desire is to be known and loved.

There is no more powerful way that we can experience that then in the sacrament of confession.  When the sinner confesses, they are telling the Lord what he already knows.  Indeed, it was the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, who revealed to the sinner their sins.  When the sinner confesses before the priest, Jesus listens, knows, loves, forgives, heals, and sends us out to sin no more.

In confession, we are no longer unknown sinners.  Rather, we are known and loved daughters and sons of God the Father.

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