It is difficult for a priest to go to confession, to be ‘on the other side’ of the screen. I am embarrassed by the repetitiveness of my sins so often and disappointed with myself that I did not do better to perfect myself in the spiritual life.
But, I know it is important for me to go; not just as a priest, but also as a person who is journeying toward heaven, like you. The reason I go is contained in the Gospel this morning: A woman’s sins become public and a mob of self-righteous people has hauled her into the street. The mob becomes more and more hateful as they drag her in pre-judgment to her death.
Along the way, they meet Jesus and to see what He would say, almost making a mockery of Him Who teaches mercy as well as justice. Jesus challenges directly: ‘Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
On which side of Jesus are we standing? Both need the mercy of God, but only one is asking for it. – Jesus in response offers her forgiveness and reconciliation with God. It was a though Jesus had been waiting for her all along; to meet her face to face, waiting from all eternity for that single moment, where He could speak the words of God: “Come back to me with all your heart.”
This is what draws me to confession. How about you?