Today's Gospel was about the Shepherd leaving the 99 to go in search of the one. Because it is The Father's will that none be lost.
How about a challenge to find a way to make it to confession during Advent? It is a wonderful way to prepare ourselves to celebrate Jesus' coming into our lives in an ever deeper way.
Once I had been many years away from this sacrament, and made my return on a cold Advent evening. I felt the warmth of our Heavenly Father's embrace. Truly a life- changing event for me.
Need some practical advice? Check out my diocese's website... www.diolaf.org and look for "The Light is ON For You". Lots of good info there. Check your diocesan website or parish bulletin...perhaps there is a similar program where you are.
Need some spiritual incentive? Try reading the parable of the Prodigal Son. Or the parable about the shepherd leaving the 99 to go in search of the 1. Know that God already knows what you are going to tell that priest, and is waiting to draw you into His heart of mercy. Be not afraid!
Think of it as an intimate meeting with Jesus. The priest is just his instrument...sitting in for him.
Really, the minimum requirement for Catholics to receive the Sacrament of Penance is once a year. Somewhere (might have been our Bishop) I heard that "the minimum should not become the maximum".
Listen to that quiet, still voice of the Lord calling you...promise yourself and pray for a way to receive this sacrament during Advent, and then use your experience to encourage others (here or in real life). That mercy and grace might well be your best Christmas present. Any takers?