The Church: Healer and Reconciler

(The Sacrament of Reconciliation)

prepared by: pol villagracia

a community called together by God ² a community of love whose source is the Father who sent Christ to be our Redeemer in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
(just for clarification)

How do you understand the following words?


(N.B. optional slide

The story about forgiveness«
Ask the students to give the summary of the story of Hildebrand and Bruno 


part of the story did you like best? Why? What moved the Knight Hildebrand to forgive his enemy, the Knight Bruno? 


do you think Bruno felt when Hildebrand forgave him?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Pol Villagracia

2/9/2012 8
Copyright 1996-98 © Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

Objectives: Part 1

Essential Questions

The Parable of the Prodigal Father

Thought provoking« Ask the students what are their ideas why it can also be called the Parable of the Prodigal Father? Leave the question hanging until they will discover it at the end of the lesson.

Luke 15:11-32

Use the Bible to read the gospel or the textbook so that they can follow the same version of the reading.

Let us look at how to interpret the Parable

Let·s do exegesis« (differentiate exegesis from eisegesis if needed. They might have encountered it
in CLE 1)

- means the process of leading out the
meaning from a text. - means reading and understanding the Bible in the way that the text itself expresses effectively. It is an objective way of interpreting the Bible.

Eisegesis ² eis is a Greek

preposition which means ¶into· and therefore means the process of leading one·s own meaning into the text.

It is reading and understanding the text the way that the reader wants to understand it. It is a subjective way of interpreting the text.

(Optional ² this was to be explained already in chapter three of the Dei Verbum) Example of exegesis in Mt. Mat 5:13 You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its taste, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. Ask the students what is the problem of this passage until they will discover that the salt cannot lose its taste until the tiniest particle of it. Then provoke the students with the following syllogism: Is this passage correct? (probably their answer is ¶no· Who told this parable? (they will answer Jesus) If this passage is a mistake then Jesus committed a mistake! If Jesus committed a mistake, then he cannot be perfect! If Jesus cannot be perfect, then he cannot be God! (observe their reactions«How will you reconcile this? In exegesis we have to ask the following: 1. Who was speaking? 2. To whom it was spoken? 3. When was it spoken? 4. What was the culture of these people involved?

Explanation« In the time of Jesus, the way they made salt was to soak dry branches into the dead sea . They would gather it after few weeks. They cut them into pieces and put them in a cloth like a tea bag. They have to dip it into the soup until it tastes good. After some days of using it, it·s no longer salty. So what shall we do, throw it. Was Jesus wrong?

Eisegesis is what we are doing during in our bible sharing. We share on what we understood on the text depending on how we put the meaning into it based on our experience.

(Ask the students the meaning of a parable so that they can relate it to their own relationship to God)

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
(ask the students who told this parable in order to emphasize that it was Jesus himself who told it.)

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.

So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.

He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving!

I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired men.'

So he got up

and went to his father

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him

He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, µFather, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.¶


But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him

Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.


Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate!

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.

So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

The older brother became angry and refused to go in.

So his father went out and pleaded to him.

But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.

But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

N.B. The following exegesis are integrated in the discussion in the slides above about the prodigal son

V.11-12 V.11-

the request of the younger son for his share of property ² (the right time for a parent to grant a child·s inheritance is the last moment of a person·s life that is before death) 

V.13 gathered his property and went to a distant land ² there he squandered his money in dissolute living (the irreverent action of the younger son resulted in his separation father. In the scripture, distant land or far away country is a place across the sea which signifies an abyss between man and God 

Vv. 14-16 a severe famine took place 14he went and hired himself «to feed the pigs (this is in contrast to the abundance of food in his father·s house. The Jews never take care of pigs. But he became a caretaker of pigs in a gentile family. His dignity was lost.

Vv. 17-19 ´Coming to his sensesµ or ´He 17came to Himselfµ ( is an expression which means repentance)  How many hired hands at my father·s place have enough food to eat while here I am starving. (it is not a perfect motive, not a perfect contrition) 

´Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired hands.µ (he did not know well of his father that his father is a loving father)

V. 20 So he set off and went to his father (A decision that is followed with an action) - when he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; (the father must have been long waiting for the son) 

V.20 «he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. (running is not proper for an old man nor for person with authority. He ran to protect his son from the community who may be angry at him for breaking the custom/tradition. 

V.21 then the son said to his father« (the father interrupted the son. A person who loves never need of explanation)  


V.22 But the father said to his slaves, Quickly, bring out the robe«the ring«and shoes on his feet (The father restored the dignity of the young man as the son of the house. The ´best robeµ assures the son of respect The ¶ringµ expressed the restoration of the father·s trust in the son as he gave back the authority. The ´shoesµ signified that he was a freeman 

V.23 Get the fatted calf and kill it, let·s eat and celebrate (Luke 15:10 «µI tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents) The killing of the fatted calf and the merriment were to make the return of the son a cause of joy not only for the father but also for the whole community. 

V.25 the coming of the elder brother V.28a double insult on his father 1. refusing to participate in a feast 2. by quarreling him in public v.28b ´Look, how many years«(showed the elder son is resentful) v.30 ´This son of yours«(the elder brother disowned his brother) v.31 ´My sonµ v.32 ´Your brotherµ (the father returned to the elder son his being a brother)

The parable can help us understand the stages in our journey back to God. - The journey for the young man began with the selfishness of sin. - Sin took him from the home of his father as our sin takes us from God and community. - His concern is self-centered and personal selfgratification - None of the relationships he established were lasting.

Church Teaching
The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (lumen Gentium), Gentium), 11 Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God·s mercy for offenses committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity and example and prayer, labors for their conversion.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation


You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18

´As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.µ After saying this he breathe on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone·s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone·s sins, they are retained. John 20:21-23 20:21-

The Sacrament of Penance
is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in the form of a judgment for the remission through sacramental absolution of sins committed after Baptism had been granted to a contrite person after confessing those sins.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation
(has four parts)

The three acts of the Penitent 1. Contrition 2. Confession 3. Satisfaction 4. Absolution (act of the confessor)

Contrition ² is the ´heartfelt
sorrow and aversion for the sin committed along with the intention of sinning no moreµ CCC, 1451 - metanoia

True Contrition for sin must be 

² from mind the and heart  Supernatural ² motivated by faith and love  Supreme ² a strong dislike for sin as offensive to God  Universal ² encompassing every mortal sin

2 kinds of Contrition 

Contrition Contrition or 



Act of Contrition
´My God, I am sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of your love for me, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with your helping grace, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.µ

Confession ² the intense sorrow for
sin which is brought about by conversion is externally expressed by confession of sin. - shows sincerity and humility - trust that the Lord can heal us - in case of difficulty, pray that the Holy Spirit may move us to have a sorrowful heart and approach the sacrament.

Act of Penance
Genuine conversion must lead to acts of penance or satisfaction for the sins committed. - these acts express turning away from our old way of acting and making amends for harm done by our sins.

The sacrament of penance is completed with the sign and words of absolution recited by the priest. These words are the prayer of the Church to God for the sinner. They express the Father·s loving forgiveness. They are a clear assurance that God has forgiven us.

Effects of the Sacrament 

remission of all sins and eternal punishment  The infusion (or increase) of sanctifying grace, the virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit;  The revival of all merits previously in the state of grace