Monday, April 7, 2014
Father Manny Alvarez
Many people do not receive Communion. This was quite evident to me during Ash Wednesday, when our Lord hungers for us at each Mass. Obviously, going to Communion is something that should be taken very seriously, as we are to be in a state of grace after having availed ourselves of the sacrament of reconciliation. This is why we have Lent: so that we may put our spiritual house in order and return to the altar of the Lord.
As pastor, I rejoice when I see the church filled for the Eucharistic feast, but I rejoice even more when everyone participates in this feast. Now is the time for reconciliation.
Every Saturday, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., my assistant and I wait for people in the confessionals of the chapel. It may not seem like a long time, but the reality is that on most Saturdays only 15-20 penitents arrive. Thanks to the penitential nature of Lent, this number grows during this season, and that is why we are both dedicated to be present there during Lent. Saturday confessions afford us the opportunity to make a good examination of conscience and go to confession in a calm manner rather rushing through it if we tried to do it on Sundays.
If you can’t come on Saturdays, call the office during the week, and we will gladly hear your confession then.
Most parishes also host Lenten missions during which visiting priests spend extra hours daily— in the mornings and evenings — hearing confessions. The Archdiocese of Miami also hosts its annual Reconciliation Weekend the Friday and Saturday before Palm Sunday. During this weekend, more than 30 parishes bring in extra priests to hear confessions throughout Friday evening and most of the day on Saturday.
My brothers and sisters, the Body of Christ suffers when one of its members is not in communion with Holy Mother Church. If you are not receiving Communion for another reason (divorce and remarriage or another circumstance) please see a priest. This is Christ’s Lenten invitation to you and the commitment we made to repent when the ashes were imposed on us at the start of Lent.
We await you in the confessional.
This blog was adapted from the weekly message that Father Alvarez writes to his parishioners.