Reconciliation, or confection, is the second sacrament Catholics receive. Catholics make their confection before their first communion when they are in second grade. This is so any sins that are done after baptism can be forgiven. Confection is important in the catholic church because, to receive the body of Christ, Catholics must first confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. Reconciliation is critical in Catholic faith because it allows sins to be forgiven and it initiates a connection with Jesus and his community.
For many Catholics, having Jesus forgive their sins is very important; being forgiven means they are then able to receive the body of Christ. Reconciliation is a sacrament in which sins are forgiven after the baptism is performed (Edward). Jesus brought up reconciliation to all sinners who after baptism, have fallen into sins and lost their grace from their baptism (catechism 1446) once someone goes to reconciliation says forgive me for my sins that grace is brought back to them. The term reconcile “means to bring together that which is apart; to blind, to heal, to make whole again” (McMahon 77). Reconciliation is there so anyone who lost sight of god can be forgiven and feel whole again. “When Jesus himself forgives sinners in the gospels, he does so without accusation, shame or guilt” (McMahon 78). Jesus knows that people are going to sin, he does not expect perfection. Thus, he makes it evident that, that even though it’s not okay, forgiveness will always be given no matter the circumstances. When Jesus forgives someone, and that person in turn asks for forgiveness from God, it elicits a change in that sinner that they never would have felt before. McMahon states that, “Once forgiven, sinners are empowered to extend to others the gift of forgiveness” (McMahon 78). God wants whomever was forgiven to continue that and understand that it’s important to forgive others even when they were wronged. The bible says, “Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). It is hard to forgive people sometimes, it happens all the time, but in the end, everyone needs to learn to forgive and reconnect relationships. He also teaches Christians to say, “forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indented to us” (Luke 11:4). Since Jesus forgives his people, they must do the same and forgive others. When they don’t forgive someone, especially people who have wronged them in some way, ultimately, they are in the wrong just as much as the person who hurt them initially. Catholics see forgiveness as this sense of freedom, and when they don’t forgive that freedom is gone. One main point about reconciliation is that sines its someone and a priest they are able to know that them asking for forgiveness is being heard. Reconciliation is something Catholics use to make sure they can tell Jesus they are sorry for their sins, and it brings them forgiveness.
Reconciliation may bring up forgiveness, but it also helps Catholics reconnect with Jesus. The Sacrament of Reconciliation main purpose is to restore broken relationships along with bring back lost harmony and peace with people, and with God (McMahon 77). Jesus sacrificed his life so that, in return, people could be saved from a life of inevitable sin. In the cases that someone does sin it brings them farther from Jesus, so when Catholics go to reconciliation they are restoring that relationship and becoming one with him. Coming into Reconciliation with Christ means “attunement, being at one again with God and ones sisters and brothers” (McMahon, 77). This sacrament is known for connecting one back to God, but if you are forgiving others than you are re-connected with that person or your brothers and sisters. We all may not be actual brothers and sisters by blood, but Jesus intended for his people to be active in community with others: “reconciliation can complement baptism by restoring or strengthening the experience of reconciliation with God in community” (Dallen 390). It is important to make sure that relationships with people of faith always stay a priority. The action of baptism, whether it be to a baby or someone older that decided to dedicate their life to Christ, is coming into community with both the congregation of the church and every other person who previously committed their lives. Reconciliation is much like a process of rededication, or continuous dedication. After sinning, a sense of lost community may be felt. So going to reconciliation or confession restores that community with God and everyone else. Reconciliations main reasoning is to bring Christians and Catholics back into God’s life, along with bringing them back into the community of the church.
Growing up I have never been super religious. I do classify myself as Catholic, but I don’t practice the faith as much as I should. I still remember the day I made my first confession. I was in second grade, clueless to the Sacraments of Catholicism and oblivious to the process of Reconciliation. When my mom told me I was to give my first confession, my initial response was “What is that?”. She went on to explain to me that confession was going to the priest and repenting for my sins. Instantly I got nervous. I didn’t know what I was going to say and didn’t know what sins I had committed. As a little girl, I was always trying to be the nicest person I could, so thinking of what to say was very hard for me. I don’t remember the exact words I said, but I do remember that I talked about how I was being mean to my mom and always fighting with my brother. I was not sure if that was a sin at the time, but in my head I saw it as one because my brother and I should always love each other and be kind. Once I was all done with my reconciliation, I had a little feeling of relief. I realized I needed to treat my brother different and love him not matter what happened. This experience changed me in a way because, as I got older. I was able to change my relationship with my brother. Without my first reconciliation I don’t think I would have changed like I did, not without God forgiving me and bringing me back to him.
In conclusion, Reconciliation is crucial to the Catholic faith. Sins, which are inevitable, are forgiven and a reconnection with Christ and his community is made possible. God never expected his people to be perfect, that is why he died on the cross for our sins. This action was to show his unconditional love and make it possible for us have a relationship with him despite our innate desire to succumb to sin. It then is the responsibility of the people to go to him and ask for this forgiveness that he eagerly gives. Through this process of going to Christ for forgiveness, Catholics are reconnecting and strengthening their relationship with God. Community with him and with other people of faith is essential to stay grounded on a path that leads to a life of honoring Christ. This is something I gained from my own process of confession. I may not be as practiced in the faith as I should, but I understand the value of the community and why it is important. Thus, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is essential to the Catholic faith.