So, a silly cartoon, but it has a point, doesn’t it?
It’s great if any of us hears confessions. But the transformation of a parish will come about in the new evangelization precisely when we go to confession frequently, when we talk up confession in homilies, when we express our joy in going to confession, when we speak of the renewed and deepened friendship we have with the Lord because of this sacrament.
Then our parishioners and we ourselves will be much more likely to understand how it is that the Lord would have us go to confession to someone ordained to represent all the members of the mystical body of Christ even as he acts in Persona Christi, in the Person of Christ, while giving the absolution, so that the penitent is reconciled with Christ and the Church simultaneously, as it must be with the one Body of Christ.
If we love God, we love neighbor with the same act of love, simultaneously. One cannot decaptitate the Head of the Mystical Body proclaiming that we love Him but not the members of His body simultaneously with the same act of love.
When we sin, we sin against the one Body of Christ, Head and members, simultaneously. When we are reconciled, it has to be the same way, simultaneously, to both Head and members of the one Body of Christ.
And when all are looking to Christ together, in His good friendship, is this not what is wanted with the new evangelization.
The father receiving back the prodigal son is called the heart of the Gospel, of the evangelium. How can forgiveness of sin and establishing a deeper friendship with Christ not be at the heart of the new evangelization. Our Lord makes it all so very easy. He is just that good and just that kind.