Peter’s sermon, from the readings on Easter Sunday, summarizes the simple message of the Christian faith. Jesus did good. He died. He rose from the dead. We have forgiveness of sins in His Name.
One of the interesting things about our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, is the simplicity not only of his lifestyle, but of his preaching. In the last week of Lent he spoke about forgiveness – he said God never gets tired of forgiving us; we get tired of asking for forgiveness.
A very simple message. Priests in Rome and throughout Italy commented on the number of confession they received since this homily were unusual, even for this time at the end of Lent when priests normally hear many confessions.
We often do not think of confession as an Easter Sacrament – but indeed – in confession we rise again. We enter the confessional like a tomb – we are dead – but we leave brand new. We are risen again.
In the past the Church was the place for everything. If you had a question about anything you asked your priest. Now we ask Google. It was the place you found friends, enjoyed time with family – now we are connected with one another is so many other ways. The Church was often at the center of politics – now Church and state are separate. We could say that the market share of the Church has been lost. All these things the Church offered we can get elsewhere. But none of these things really were the purpose of the Church to begin with. There is one thing the Church offers that no else can give: the forgiveness of sins.
People joke about “Catholic guilt”. But guilt is not a Catholic thing, it is a human thing. All of us know that we have done wrong. All of us want a second chance, a third chance, perhaps a thirty second chance.
Remember: Jesus died. He rose from the dead. We have forgiveness of sins in His name.
God never tires of forgiving us – we tire of asking for forgiveness.