I showed my mama my little trophy kill, and she tore into me big time. She told me then and there that I had to confess this cruelty. Well, as we lived on a ranch at that time, she could not take me to confession at a nearby parish. And over the course of a few weeks, I forgot my sin. But my mother did not. When we went to visit my step-father’s parents in another town, my mother hauled me over to the Catholic church and told me exactly what to tell the priest: That I had wantonly killed a mama bird for my own pleasure.
I was fortunate to have a mother who took it upon herself to act as my conscience exactly when I needed a conscience. And I was fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to go to: It was the perfect forum for taking responsibility for my action, for handing over my sin to God the Father in Christ.
Indeed, we Catholics are so blessed in that we have an actual way to come to terms with our sin, the great sacrament of Mercy and Kindness, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is the Sacrament of the Love, Mercy, and Humility of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. But sometimes it seems to me that we Catholics are in such a hurry to confess our sins that we do not understand the root cause of them. We are in such a hurry to unload our sins, so impatient with our sins, that we do not give ourselves the time to understand why we have chosen to sin in this particular way.
Now, all acts of selfishness and cruelty are rooted in something; they do not happen in a vacuum. All our choices to sin are very human choices and they occur in very human ways, in our very human life. I am not saying that our life consists of sin and only sin; on the contrary, I am saying that to understand our choices, even our worst choices, our sins, in the light of Christ, is to begin to understand how to grow in the Spirit, in union with our Christ. For, to understand our sin in the light of Christ is to begin to open up to the power of God, his mercy and kindness.
So, it is important to come to terms with our sins and our lack of charity and tolerance, in the light of Christ. It is important to let our sins be sins, for as we see in today’s Gospel According to Matthew, if we are patient enough, like the owner of the field was; and if we do not panic but let our sins to dwell alongside the best parts of us, and to teach us how to renounce our sins, then God in Christ can draw forth from us the most wonderful fruit; then God rejoices, for God can then harvest our hearts as it were; God can then draw forth from us that fertility that is a sign of the Spirit’s presence.
So, do not panic: Stay present to your life and be conscious of the working of God in Christ in your life, in your heart, in your relationships. Be patient even with your sins and believe that the harvest of God is near. If you stay present even to your sins and let them lead you to prayer and to love of self and of others, then God’s kingdom, God’s word, God’s love and God’s mercy will grow in you and be your light.