Full disclosure. I have been a bad disciple of dentistry. As a result, I have visited the dentist 4 times within the last 2 months! And still have one more visit to go! What happened? Life happened. There was a point in time when I went to the dentist regularly. But when I became a pastor in the midst of Covid, I moved away from my previous dentist, and I began to neglect my dental health. At times, I would get a sensitive tooth and I would think about calling a dentist, but something would happen, and I would attend to another crisis. Then, there was a time when a couple of my old fillings fell out, but I thought, “I’ll just keep water-picking and I’ll be fine.”
So, what did it take for me to go to the dentist? One day I spoke to a dentist at the parish about the need to go before I went to the Holy Land. After talking about it couple more times, he and his wife lovingly invited me to call and make an appointment. So I did. All it took was an invitation. So many times in our lives we live in fear. We don’t want to spend the time it takes to take care of ourselves, especially when we are focused on helping others. Perhaps you are a busy mom, dad, grandma or grandpa and your children and grandchildren need so much. Things get placed on the back burner and life goes on. What happens is these things that we ignore begin to get worse. Like a tooth with a cavity, the decay begins to go deeper and deeper, and if not treated can be more costly to fix than if we just approached the dentist earlier on.
Why do I talk about this? Because we do the same things in our spiritual life. So often in our lives we ignore the sins we are struggling with. Instead of approaching Jesus we let them eat away at us. We let the root sins root down deeper within our souls. But oftentimes because we are focused on others and life in general, we put our spiritual lives on the back burner. Now is the time to do something. Now is the time to come to Jesus. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me after we celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation that they shouldn’t have waited that long to come to Jesus for His mercy. As we journey through this season of Advent, come to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Whether on a Tuesday at a Communal Reconciliation service from 5:00-6:00pm, or a Thursday from 5:30-6:15pm, or Saturday from 9:00-10:00am, or by appointment, come to Jesus. I am grateful my dentist invited me to take care of my teeth. All it took was an invitation. On behalf of Jesus, I am inviting you to take care of yourself by putting yourselves in the hand of mercy itself. “The Lord…is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
He will help you if you come to Him,