Matthew: From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday. It's always the first Sunday after Easter. One of my friends from Mexico was the one who shared the story. Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
My friend explained, "You should go to confession sometime before or during Easter and then again on Divine Mercy Sunday. So, it's like this: you sin, and it's like a nail is hammered into a piece of wood. You go to confession, and the nail is pulled out, but there's still a mark. You go to confession on Divine Mercy Sunday, and it's like the piece of wood is new again."
Reconciliation is all about forgiveness and aligning ourselves more with God. Reconciliation is truly an amazing sacrament; once we are done, it's like starting anew, a clean slate.
We've visited forgiveness quite often, mostly because we are human, and it can be hard to forgive, but forgiveness is the only way to freedom. Forgiveness frees us from ourselves, our ego, which for some reason feels it needs to cling to all the evils someone has ever done to us (even if it's someone who looked at us sideways twenty years ago). Forgiveness makes room for the good stuff, which doesn't have space when we hold onto all the baggage/stuff.
I'm going to go out on a limb here, forgiveness reduces wrinkles. People who hold onto things tend to have a permanent scowl, and just like when you'd cross your eyes and your mother would say, "Your eyes will get stuck like that." The same thing happens with the scowl, it creates wrinkles. Once we forgive, it's like we exhale, our shoulders automatically lower an inch or three, and we are loosed from whatever it is we need to forgive.
Today, may we practice forgiveness with ourselves and especially with others.