Receive the Holy Spirit

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them.” —John 20:22-23

In the evening of the day on which He rose from the dead, Jesus came to His disciples, showed them His nail-scarred hands and wounded side, breathed on them, gave them the Holy Spirit, and sent them out (Jn 20:19-22). Jesus sent His disciples out not to just make a general announcement of His Resurrection but to specifically invite us to confess our sins and be forgiven (see Jn 20:23; Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38). One of the first merciful acts of the risen Christ was to begin developing the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of sins. One of the first things we need to do this Easter season is repent and go to Confession. When we remove the planks of sin from our own eyes, then we can see clearly enough to invite others to repent, forgive, go to Confession, be forgiven (Mt 7:5), and be immersed in the limitless mercy of God. Without Confession, our celebration of the Easter season will be aborted and not come to full term. With Confession, we will meet the risen Christ, be sent to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and celebrate the risen Christ for the full Easter season and for eternity.

PRAYER: Father, may my first Confession in this Easter season be life-changing. On this Mercy Sunday, may I experience the depth of Your ocean of mercy as You reconcile me to Yourself.

PROMISE: “The love of God consists in this: that we keep His commandments — and His commandments are not burdensome.” —1 Jn 5:3

PRAISE: “One of the soldiers thrust a lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out” (Jn 19:34). Merciful Jesus, make our hearts receptive to You.

(From a reflecion by an editorial member of Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries)

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John Portelli

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