Remove the Barriers Between Us and God

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,

“Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever.” The Prophet Baruch encourages us to be changed from mourning into joy. God has rescued us from sin and death by sending us Jesus to be our Redeemer. It is no longer sin that defines us, but our relationship with God. We are to live as Children of God again—by repentance, confession of our sins, and amendment of our lives.

This is why we place such an emphasis on the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent. Our joy comes from the thanksgiving we feel after being set free from our sins by Jesus. When we hear the priest say, in Christ’s name, “I absolve you from your sins,” we are jubilant! We are finally free—free from fear of punishment, free to love and be loved without the baggage of guilt. We are, as John the Baptist put it, “making straight his paths.” We are making it easy for Christ to reach us and for us to reach Him. We make it easy for God to forgive us by being truly sorry for our sins; we make it easier still by changing our lives to avoid future sins that might complicate or even destroy our relationship with Jesus.

This is how we prepare for Christ’s coming—we remove the barriers between us and God. So let us take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and make a highway to our hearts for Christ.

Peace in Christ,

Father Matthew Kuhn

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