“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do . . . I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” // Matthew 9:12-13
I glanced up from my phone and studied the long line snaking toward the confessional. It was moving like molasses. The notes I’d been typing as I diligently worked my way through my examination of conscience suddenly seemed silly, even futile.
Do I really need to go today? These sins aren’t that bad. It hasn’t been that long. It’s just the same little mistakes over and over. What will the priest think?
My eyes panned from the confessional to the tabernacle. Instantly the Holy Spirit’s encouragement welled up from my heart and pushed back.
No! If I’m tempted to bail, then I need confession all the more.
It doesn’t matter what the priest says or thinks; it’s really Jesus waiting for me. He wants my freedom and healing even more than I do. I need His strength to battle my weakness.
The humbling conviction worked its way through my resistance and fear, and my encounter in the confessional that day was beautiful. It’s a moment the Lord often reminds me of when I’m tempted once more to avoid this Sacrament of healing.
Saint Matthew must’ve also faced countless temptations as he sat at his post, surrounded by money and might, justifications and judgments. Yet the freedom in Christ’s eyes, His voice, His gaze was so convicting that in a single instant Matthew got up and left it all behind. What allowed him to follow Christ so freely while the Pharisees sat around and touted their own self-sufficiency?
The difference between Matthew and the Pharisees was not in their sinfulness. It was in their humility. Matthew was willing to admit not only his sinful condition, but accept his need for healing from it.
When we come to the table with the Lord, are we able to admit to the same? Or do we persist in our stubborn ways and shy away from God’s help, no better than the Pharisees who thought they could save themselves?
Christ is waiting and longing to free you for the sake of real relationship and fulfillment. Today, ask for the grace to push through the resistance and leave your self-sufficiency in the confessional—then follow Him.Christ is waiting and longing to free you. // Megan Hjelmstad Click To Tweet