It was exactly seven years ago today when I found out who Jesus is.
I grew up within the Roman Catholic Church. I attended Mass most every week. However, I got very comfortable with the rituals. I perceived I was a good Catholic for having attended Mass. But there was always something missing. Within me for many years was a yearning for more. I cannot quite say what that yearning was for. It was simply present. I looked into many places to satisfy the yearning. Some of these places were good places, and others were not very good. Needless to say I never could satisfy the yearning then.
Moreover, I did not understand the purpose of Jesus Christ. I knew He existed. I recall Southern Baptists in my high school proclaiming having a relationship with Him. That seemed very foreign to me. How could one have a relationship with someone they cannot see? Why turn to Jesus when you can turn to God, the father? I rationalized that this relational aspect with Jesus was not a part of my Catholic faith. I never heard a Catholic discuss this before. However, at the same time, I do not think I would have been comfortable being told about it either.
This all changed for me on March 24, 2007. I was at a church retreat. In the evening we were invited to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, commonly referred to as Confession. For me I did not understand this sacrament. As a child I recall admitting to the priest I did not listen to my parents as often as I should, that I hit my brother at times, etc.. As a child I was offered some prayers by the priest after receiving absolution, but I did not feel any different. And I did not change.THAT WAS THE PROBLEM!!
All my life I never had a firm purpose of amendment. I had no intent to change what I was doing. On this retreat I learned that I needed to identify in my life what was separating me from having a relationship with God. Well, after hearing men on the weekend describe having a beautiful relationship with God, I realized I missed the boat somewhere. Obviously somewhere along the way I stopped relating to our loving God. I also had something else that separated me from God; I had an anger within me that I never could resolve.
So in the Reconciliation Chapel I very sincerely told the priest that I stopped relating to our God early in my life, and that I had an anger that I could not resolve that I wanted to be rid of. Let me tell you. Immediately upon being absolved of my sins by the priest, and I mean immediately, I felt so very different. I no longer had the anger that I tried to rid myself of for so many years. That anger was immediately gone, never to return again in seven years thus far.
What happened! Why do I feel so free? How is that anger gone? Why do I feel as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders; the same weight I have been trying to manage and rid myself of for over 30 years? Where did this joy come from?
I was so confused. But after studying and praying for several months I finally came to the realization of what happened. Jesus died on that cross for our sins, to right us in our relationship with God, the father. Jesus did the work for us to rid ourselves of the sin in this life. He died for us; He died for you! The gift of forgiveness is there for us. We simply need to repent and reach for that gift. And that was what I did. And boy did I receive a gift! I received a miracle on that day! I am a changed man with a changed heart and it happened immediately on that day, and it still exists that way today. On that day in 2007, I learned who Jesus is and why He came to this earth. Miracles through Christ do still happen, in these modern times! I am proof of that.
Do you have unresolved issues like anger, worry, fear, greed, lust, or other things? I invite you to talk to a trusted friend who you know to be a Christian. I invite you to speak with your pastor or priest. There is something else going on in this world that I was too blind to see. And it is very much worth seeing!