UP Catholic 03 04 2016 E Edition Page 19

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC YEAR OF MERCY March 4, 2016 19 Mercy Corner: The sacrament of reconciliation is a great privilege Thill's Specialties Fresh from the Smokehouse Whitefish, Trout, Salmon & Herring Smoked Whitefish Sausage Smoked Fish Spread Herring & Trout 226-9851 On the Fish Dock in Marquette's Lower Harbor. Hours: M-F 8:00-5:30, Sat. 9-4 Visa & MasterCard Stop in for our Lenten Specials SMOKED & FRESH FISH Great Lakes Whitefish & Trout, Atlantic Salmon Perch---Walleye---Cod Shrimp - Jumbo Scallops Lobster Tail - Fresh Oysters Jumbo - King Crab Seafood Specials Thill's Fish House SACRED HEART RELIGIOUS GOODS WE HAVE ITEMS TO BOOST YOUR SPIRIT AND INCREASE YOUR FAITH DURING THIS LENTEN SEASON! (906) 228-4462 419 W. Washington Marquette (Located across from the Ramada Inn) Deacon Appreciation Issue Ad cut-off: March 9th. To advertise: upc@new.rr.com BY DENISE FOYE DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE [Jesus] breathed on [the disciples], and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any they are retained. (John 20:23) In this scripture passage from John, Christ entrusts to the Apostles the divine power to for- five sins. This passage is the scriptural founda- tion for the sacrament of penance and reconcil- iation. By virtue of their ordination, priests are fiven the authority to absolve sins through this beautiful sacrament of mercy. Father Robb Jurkovich, pastor at Our Lady of Peace in Ironwood views his role as a confessor a great privilege of the priesthood. Penance and reconciliation is not only a sacrament of for- fiveness, but a sacrament of hope in Christ. The Holy Spirit works through the priest to allow penitents to celebrate the sacrament as a light of hope of sanctification and to more clearly see the bigger picture of salvation. Reconciliation also touches him in a very personal way. Father Jurkovich strongly be- lieves that in order to celebrate this sacrament fruitfully and be a better confessor it is critical the priest himself regularly go to confession recognizing that he, too, is a sinner and in need of Gods mercy. This recognition helps him to identify with the penitent on the other side of the screen. Confession provides an opportunity for priests to practice the Works of Mercy. According to Father Jurkovich, reconciliation may involve all seven of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. Counsel the doubtful happens as the priest guides the penitent to recognize what led them to a par- ticular sin so it can be avoided in the future. Father Jurkovich also finds confession an ave- nue for instructing the ignorant which he does not see as a harsh thing, but as an opportunity to help the person form a better conscience so they can live a life more pleasing to God. This is especially important with young children as they often do not know what is sinful. Admonishing the sinner, whether in con- fession or outside of the sacrament is not an accusation of wrongdoing but an urging to do the right thing and avoid sin. A priest may find himself comforting the afflicted when the con- fessed sins have fractured family relationships. As for bearing wrongs patiently, the confes- sor imitating the patience of Christ accepts with tolerance sinners, despite the severity or repetition of the sins. Praying for the living and the dead can be the penance, as Father Jurkovich sometimes asks the penitent to pray for a particular person. He also finds himself drawn into deeper prayer for a person when a situation that is shared in the confessional is so messy he feels inadequate to do anything. Finally, the forgiving of offenses and the dispensing of Gods mercy is the core of this sacrament. In persona Christi, the priest prays the words of absolution through the min- istry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and thus forgiving the sinner their offenses and restoring them to a state of frace. Truly the forgiving of sins, the giving of Gods mercy and the restoration of Gods grace is a great privilege of the ordained priesthood. Throughout this Holy Year, The U.P. Cath- olic will be highlighting the works of mercy taking place in our parishes and communities across the Upper Peninsula. If you have a sto- ry and pictures of a person or group of people who are actively engaging in works of mercy, email your suggestion to The U.P. Catholic at news@dioceseofmarquette.org. COURTESY PHOTO Illustration: Father Robb Jurkovich gives absolution during confession to a penitent during the sacrament of reconciliation.

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