Friday, 2 December 2011

2nd Sunday of Advent - Year B

Isaiah 40:1-5.9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
  • Isaiah declares: Here is the Lord coming with power …
  • St Peter says: So then, my friends … do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace.
  • St Mark tells us: A voice cries in the wilderness proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
No one has ever thought of a better way of preparing for the Lord’s coming than by the confession of sin: All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and … they confessed their sins.

The call to repentance will not come from the busy, pleasure-seeking, money-making world; it comes as a clear, unambiguous call from Christ through his Church to the recollected, uncluttered places within our heart. There is no doubt about it, no confusion; it is the simple call the Gospel makes to all of us today, “Repent and confess your sins.”

So today, let us together examine our consciences and resolve to go to confession if we recognise our guilt.

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
  • Do I pray to God every day?
  • Have I thanked God for His gifts to me?
  • Did I engage in superstitious practices, such as palm reading, tarot cards, ouija boards or fortune telling?
  • Do I seek to surrender myself to God's Word as taught by the Church?
  • Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin?
  • Have I ever deliberately told a lie in confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in confession?
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  • Did I take the name of God in vain?
  • Did I curse or take a false oath?
  • Have I been angry with God?
  • Have I wished evil upon another person?
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.
  • Did I miss Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation through my own fault?
  • Do I fully participate at Mass?
  • Did I fast and abstain on the prescribed days?
  • Do I do needless work on Sunday?
4. Honour your father and your mother.
  • Do I honour my parents?
  • Did I disobey my parents or lawful superiors in important matters?
  • Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children?
  • Have I given my family good religious example?
  • Do I try to bring peace into my home life?
  • Do I care for my aged and infirm relatives?
5. You shall not kill.
  • Have I had an abortion or encouraged anyone to have an abortion?
  • Have I physically harmed anyone?
  • Have I abused alcohol or drugs?
  • Did I give scandal to anyone, thereby leading them into sin?
  • Have I been angry or resentful?
  • Have I harboured hatred in my heart and desired revenge?
  • Have I mutilated myself through any form of sterilization?
  • Have I encouraged or condoned sterilization?
6. You shall not commit adultery.
  • Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
  • Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage?
  • Did I use artificial means to prevent conception?
  • Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?
  • Am I careful to dress modestly?
7. You shall not steal.
  • Have I stolen or wilfully damaged what is not mine?
  • Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen or damaged?
  • Do I waste time at work, school or at home?
  • Do I gamble excessively, thereby denying my family of their needs?
  • Do I pay my debts promptly?
  • Do I seek to share what I have with the poor?
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
  • Have I lied?
  • Have I gossiped?
  • Have I spoken behind someone else's back?
  • Have I been insincere in my dealings with others?
  • Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my thoughts of others?
  • Have I broken confidentiality?
9. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife.
  • Did I wilfully entertain impure thoughts, or commit impure acts, alone or with others?
  • Did I wilfully look at indecent pictures, watch immoral movies, or read immoral books or magazines?
  • Did I engage in impure jokes or conversations?
10. You shall not covet your neighbour's goods.
  • Am I jealous of what other people have?
  • Do I envy the families or possessions of others?
  • Am I greedy or selfish?
  • Are material possessions the purpose of my life?
  • Do I trust that God will care for all of my material and spiritual needs?
Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, through his Church, is calling us to repent and, if necessary, to confess our sins now! Let us be humble and wise and follow his call.

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