“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

Jesus promised that He would never abandon His people; He promised that He would remain until the end of time. Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago, yet He is still present and active in the lives of His people. He is with them. However, recognizing God’s presence in our world today takes a ‘trained eye’ and an act of faith. Jesus can most readily be recognized through the witness of Christian people, people who acknowledge and testify to the power and presence of God in their lives. The ‘Encounter with Christ’ stories help to highlight how God is working in the lives of the people in the parish of St. Magdalen’s Church. These stories are meant to help those who read them to more easily recognize God’s presence in their own lives. God wants to be known by you and to work in your life—invite Him to do so.

Encountering Christ in Reconciliation

06-25-2017Encountering ChristMichael Sarno

While we can encounter GOD at many different times in our lives, one memorable encounter for me was in the Sacrament of Reconciliation many years ago. I was in my last year of law school and had been recognizing GOD’s pull on my heart to go to Confession. At that point, I hadn’t been to Confession for over 10 years. It was a struggle for me to go because it had been so long, and I hadn’t been exactly living a life of virtue.

Though I didn’t realize it, GOD was gently and patiently leading me to that point through several different circumstances. While I resisted along the way, He kept pursuing me. After several months, I finally, through GOD’s grace, went toConfession. Because it had been so long, I didn’teven remember what to say and had to research itbefore going, which also led me to make a very thorough examination of my conscience. When entering the confessional, GOD simply didn’t say,“Good luck, I’ll see you when you’re done.” Rather,I felt His presence with me throughout the entireConfession. During my Confession, I was nervous,ashamed, and embarrassed. As a result, I spoke sosoftly that the priest patiently asked me to speak upseveral times because he couldn’t hear me. Even inmy doubt and embarrassment, the LORD gave methe strength to make an honest and complete Confession. to confession beautiful words ofabsolution from the priest, I felt like a weight waslifted off my shoulders. However, it was more thanjust a feeling. I had directly encountered GOD’sinfinite love and mercy for me at that moment. Though it is difficult to fully describe, it revived mywhole life and my inspiration to grow closer to GOD. I had peace and clarity again about my path in life. Isuddenly had more hope about my future and myrelationship with GOD, and that has continued to thisday, particularly during the times that I fall.

Wherever you are in your journey, ask GOD toopen your hearts to receive His mercy and love notjust through going to Confession, but in every aspectof your lives.