•          Once some people brought to Jesusa paralyzed man carried on a mat by fourof them. When he saw their faith, he said to the paralytic “Son, your sins are forgiven.” As some scribes criticized him, Jesus said: “…you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Afterwards he said to the paralytic “…take your mat, and go to your home.” And he went home (Mk 2:11).
           Several times, Jesus has revealedthat he has the power to absolve sins. Hesaid to the sinful woman who washed his feet with her tears: “Your sins are forgiven.” (Lk. 7:48). Granting forgiveness to the woman caught inadultery, Jesus said: “…from now on do not sin again”  (Jn.8:11). Jesus entrusted the Church with hispower to forgive sins. The resurrectedJesus appeared to his disciples and said: “As the Father has sent me, so I sendyou… Receive the Holy Spirit. If youforgive the sins of any, they are forgiventhem; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn. 20:21-23).
            The purpose of the sacraments of Penance and  the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is to grant forgiveness of sins and health in a special way; and hence they are called theSacraments of Healing.


                                  We, the sinners, experience the infinite love and mercy through this sacrament.  Granting forgiveness of sins and the power not to err again, this sacramentreconciles us with God and man.

    Reconciliation has Four Levels

                          The sin of a person brings upon him four types ofruin:the father-son relationship between God andman is disrupted with sin; the relationship between man and man is ruined; the bond with himself as well as with the world is strained.

    The Sacrament of Reconciliation:A Sacrament of Confession

                             To err is human. All of us wish for pardon for oursins. The people belonging to other religions resort tofasting, visit pilgrim centres and bathe in holy waters for expiation of sins  The confession of sins, evenhumanly speaking, releases and helps reconcilingwith others. When we confess our sins to a priest, therepresentative of the Church community, entrusted,by Jesus, with the power to forgive sins, we canreconcile ourselves with God and the Church community and restore the lost status of the son of God. Hence, the core factor of this sacrament is confession of sins to a priest. St. Augustine teaches:“Co nfession of evil deeds is the beginning of good deeds.” To denote the character of this sacrament, it is named as Confession.

    A Sacrament of Pardon and Forgiveness

                                      Jesus revealed the depth of his Father's love and mercy through the parable of the prodigal son  Wepersonally experience his love and mercy, when we aregranted pardon for our sins. When God grants pardon,our sins are forgiven. Reconciliation is a sacrament ofpardon and forgiveness and it makes us experience the pardoning life of Jesus.

    Forgiveness of Sins through the Priest

                                      Jesus has entrusted his Church with the power toforgive sins. This sacrament is celebrated through thepriest, the representative of the Church. The priest willnever leak out the sins confessed to him in anycircumstance; he will never say or act on the basis of what he heard in the confession. He is obliged to keep it a tightsecret even at the cost of his death.

    There are Five Requisites to Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation Worthily

    1. Examination of conscience

                           Examine carefully the period of our life since thelast confession and find out the failings. There will be sins of commission and that of omission. The examination of conscience should be done with respect to the Ten Commandments, the precepts of the Church and the duties according to our vocation in life.

    2. Contrition

                  Every error is an act against God's love. When contrition arises out of the thought thatwe hurt God with sin and the consequent sorrow and an aversion towards sin, it is called'perfect' contrition. Then we are able to confess like the prodigal son, “Lord, I have sinnedagainst you.” The core of contrition is the mental attitude to leave all the chances of sin and return to Jesus.

    3. Resolution

                      Real repentance leads us to a resolution not to repeat the mistakes; readiness to avoidthe circumstance leading to sin will also be there. We have to pray for the blessing to fulfil theresolution taken.

    4. Confession

                      Confess every sin to the priest; Mention especially the nature and number of mortalsins. We reveal, here, our broadminded attitude both to Jesus and the Church

    5. Penance

                 Carefully pay attention to the penance imposed by the priest and fulfil it. In addition tothe given penance, we may resort to some other remedial acts on our own. Once the priestfinishes giving penance, bend your head in respect and accept forgiveness of sins. Duringthis time, recite silently the act of contrition and implore Jesus for forgiveness of sins and grace. While preparing for confession, recalling the sins, we can recite the act of contrition

    Let us try to receive this sacrament that grants forgiveness of sin and health andpeace to both body and mind, frequently


                        During Jesus' public life, Jesus healed many sick people. Roaming across many townsand villages Jesus preached the gospel and healed the sick and the afflicted (Mt. 9:35). Thebook of Genesis affirms that sickness and suffering cropped into the lives of people onaccount of sin. God created man in a state of bliss; when he committed sin, happiness has been replaced by disease and pain. Sickness is a condition persuading man to turn to God.

          God grants healing. Man, in illness, should take refuge in God. In the ancient Church, this conviction was very strong. St. James says: “Are any among you sick? They should callfor the elders of the Church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in thename of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven (Jas. 5:14-15). The anointing of the sick grantsforgiveness of sin and recovery from sicknessand thereby gives health both for our body andspirit. The power of the Holy Spirit receivedthrough this sacrament leads a patient to thehealth of his soul; God willing he regains bodilyhealth as well. The anointing of the sick helps usplace our trust in the divine mercy and acceptillness, tribulations and afflictions withequanimity. Generally, we receive this sacramentin a critical stage of illness. If necessary, this sacrament can be received more than once.

    The Celebration of the Sacrament

    “May Christ, who, through baptism, made us participate in his death and resurrection, sanctify you.” With this prayer the celebrant sprinkles holy water in the room of the patient.Until karozutha prayer, the rites of the holy Qurbana are followed. Following this, the oil for anointing is blessed with a prayer May this anointing relieve pain, remove distress, heal wounds and restore health to body andsoul."The prayer ends with a praise of the Holy Trinity.  Thereafter, the celebrantrecites the prayer of blessing extending hisright palm downword. In the ensuinganointing he prays for forgiveness of sinsand health of body and mind. Applying theoil on the forehead, eyes, ears, lips, handsand legs the celebrant implores God'sto grant pardon for the sinscommitted with the different organs.

                             There ensues the hymn “God heal those with desperate hearts.” The communityprays for the patient reciting the karozutha of reconciliation. The celebrant prays, thankingGod for sending his dear son, to give forgiveness to sinners, health for the sick and comfortto the afflicted; he praises God for granting the patient bodily and spiritual relief as well. Herequests the assistance of St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Thomas and all the saints on behalf ofthe patient. After blessing the patient as well as the community, the celebrant makes the patient kiss the cross.


    LET US


    (1 Cor. 11 : 27 - 31)

    A Verse to Remember

    “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
    if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
    (Jn 20:23).

    Let us Pray

    Jesus, the eternal priest, please empower us
    to offer the holy Qurbana, which you have
    given to the Church sacrificing yourself, with purity of heart.

    My Resolution

    Once fortnightly , I will receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

    Teachings of the Fathers of the Church

    There is medicine for every ailment. If any one incurred an injury
    with the attack of satan, let him inform the priest and get treated by the physician.
    God pardons those who confess their sins. (Aphrahat)