Time for a Spiritual Spring Cleaning

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Time for a Spiritual Spring Cleaning

April 2, 2014 | HNMWebmaster | Faith, Father Salvador, Forgiveness, Homilies, Lent, Love, Prayer, Self-Reflection, St. Luke

Lenten Penance Service
April 1, 2014

Readings: Joel 2:12-17, Psalm 51, Hebrews 3:12-15, Luke 15:11-32
By Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Maybe some of us have already started our Spring Cleaning. Maybe for your children and grandchildren, cleaning the house or putting things in order is not their idea of Spring Break. But cleaning our souls is definitely God’s idea of a Spring Break. That’s why we take a break today – to receive this beautiful sacrament for a spiritual Spring Cleaning. Last night I was saddened by a story on the news about a group of college students on Spring Break. Based on their actions, they fit right in with the word we have heard in today’s Gospel, describing the prodigal son after he left his father. He lived a life of dissipation, or self-indulgence. I am not judging whether they are good or bad, but that is their idea of enjoyment. This is the prodigal son’s idea of being happy. But we know the rest of the story – that it didn’t last long. Eventually, his joy turned into sadness, and he came to his senses.

Those college students on the news and the prodigal son have one thing in common. They are away from their parents. It’s a whole different scene for those who go on a family vacation. The mom, the dad, and the children are all together. It’s a whole different scene. Those college or high school students who went on their own, away from their parents – they live a very different life which I cannot describe in a homily.

They need our prayers as we pray for each other. When we are away from our heavenly father, just as this son is away from his father, we know what happens. The loving father in today’s parable, who represents our own Father in heaven, gives us light. If we are away from him, whether we like it or not, we will be in darkness.

Our God is a God of second chances. He is always giving us another chance. It is only with him, through him and in him that we are able to live a life in all its fullness – to live our life as God planned it to be. God and sin can’t go together, just like oil and water; darkness and light; sadness and joy. If there is sin, we have this wonderful opportunity to be cleansed from our sins by the sacrament of Confession.

There was a little boy Johnny who was living with his grandmother. And since he was homeschooled, he had the opportunity to be at Mass every single morning. He was an altar server. During the summer, his grandmother planned to take a vacation in Florida and they would be away for two weeks. So Johnny told his priest, “Father, I will be away for two weeks. There won’t be anyone to serve Mass.” The priest replied, “Well, that’s okay, Johnny, I think we can manage without any altar server for two weeks.” “But Father,” Johnny said, “who will wash away your iniquities?”

We all know only God can wash away our iniquities, only Jesus our Lord, through the sacrament of reconciliation, can wash away our sins. Thank God we have this opportunity tonight to have our Spiritual Spring Cleaning.

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