Hundreds responded to “The Light is on for You” invitation to reconciliation Wednesday of Holy Week. If a single person who would not otherwise have come forward to be reconciled to Jesus and his Body, the Church, had responded to the initiative it would have been a success, but the response was both overwhelming and edifying.
Most parishes had several priests hearing confessions and in nearly every case, they continued beyond the announced 6:30 to 9:00 o’clock hours to accommodate the large number of penitents. In at least one parish, confessions were heard until 11:30 p.m.
When the initiative was announced there were skeptics among our priests who felt that the extra hours for confessions and the planned penance services during Lent were sufficient. However, it appears that most of those who responded to “The Light is on for You” had been away from the sacrament for a long time and saw a special opportunity in the invitation to return and be reconciled.
As a reconciling community, we must reach out and not wait for those alienated for any reason to take the initiative.I am particularly grateful to the priests who recognized the pastoral need and voluntarily extended the time allotted for confessions to insure that not a single penitent would be denied the opportunity to be reconciled.
I thank the members of the laity who provided hospitality for those who came for reconciliation and often had long waits because of the surprising response. When one has become alienated for whatever reason, it is not easy to make the decision to return. There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit moved many to take advantage of this opportunity to be reconciled.
You may be assured that the responses of priests and penitents to “The Light is on for You” insured that it will become a regular part of our Lenten practices.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish