First of all, congratulations to the boys and girls who celebrated the Sacrament of reconciliation for the first time during the week. Continue to keep them in your prayers as they prepare to receive Holy Communion for the first time in May.
St. Isidore of Seville’s feast day was April 4th. As well as being remembered as a bishop he is also one of the doctors of the Church. He wrote extensively on topics that were important to the Church including confession. This is one passage that sums up his thought on the sacrament — “Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. In confession there is chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Hope and have confidence in confession.” The sacrament of confession is one of the healing sacraments (along with the anointing of the sick) and as well as pardoning our sins, it reconciles us with God and with our faith community. This year’s ‘long Gospel’ on Palm Sunday is taken from St. Luke. It includes the account of the Good Thief. He is the one who recognises Jesus as being innocent while he and the other thief were there because of their actions and he asks Jesus to remember him. ‘Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise’. The Good thief is a symbol of hope in the Lord and his mercy.