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We can do this too

We can do this too

This beautifully simple fresco from the Catacombs of Marcellinus & Peter illustrates Jesus curing the woman with a haemorrahage.

Imagine being that woman in the crowd that day:

She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak.  ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself, ‘I shall be well again.’  And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint (Mk 5:25-29).

Imagine reaching out and actually touching the hem of Jesus’ outer garment!  For me, I can imagine having to ‘talk myself into it’, persuading myself to be so bold, pushing myself towards the Lord.  I can imagine all sorts of objections that might come to mind.  For example, he is on his way to heal a sick little girl who lies in the shadow of death; surely Jesus won’t want to bother with my complaint which, after all, isn’t life-threatening… maybe I should just go home and carry on coping?  But I would like to think that Hope would drive me on.  Perhaps, like the woman in the Gospels, I’d manage to tell myself that he won’t have to ‘bother’ with me, for if I can just touch his clothes, I shall be well again.

On one hand, I find it impossible to imagine being this woman, and yet, the fresco shouts out to me, ‘this is what you do when you come to the sacrament of Reconciliation!’ 

When we go to confession, we are aware of the areas of our lives that are in need of the healing touch of Jesus.  We know that he is desperate for us to return to him, seeking his loving mercy, his healing and his forgiveness.  We know that all we need to do in our contrite state is to reach out for the forgiveness we so desire, to confess our sins and seriously resolve to amend our lives.

And our encounter with Jesus in that sacrament is as real as it was for the woman in the crowd 2000 years ago.

When we look on it like that, we’d have to be crazy not to be making regular, frequent use of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Crazy.  Jesus’ healing forgiveness is there, waiting for us.  His mercy is there, waiting for us.  Sacramental grace is there, waiting to strengthen us.

It’s Lent.  Let’s go and encounter Jesus in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Here at St Bernadette’s, Confessions are heard on Saturdays, 10.45 – 11.15 & 5.00 – 5.30

And around and about, Confession is available as follows:

Christ the King, Knowle West: Saturday 10.00-10.30am

St Gerard Magella, Knowle: Saturday 11.00 am

St Dunstan’s, Keynsham: Saturday 5.00pm

Sacred Heart, Chew Magna :Sunday 8.30 am

St Mary on the Quay Colston Street, Bristol: Monday – Saturday, 11.45 – 12.10

Clifton Cathedral : Saturdays 11.15-12.15am and 5-5.30pm.




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