Before entering the community some of you may have taken dancing lessons and, if you did, you will know how important it is to stay in step with the music and with your dancing partner. If you don’t, toes get stepped on, and the dance degenerates into chaos. During his time on earth, Our Lord devoted himself to teaching us how to dance, as it were, with the Father, working to change our lives so that we could know the peace and harmony that come from being in union with God.
After spending much of his ministry in the Galilean cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, Our Lord may have hoped to see some kind of city-wide repentance that would bring the people back to God. It had happened in the past during the reigns of King Josiah and King Hezekiah. But when it became apparent that these cities would not respond, Our Lord prophesied the cities’ undoing, just as a dance falls apart when the harmony between the dancers is disrupted.
This analogy of a dance can help give us an image of how the rhythm and flow of God’s blessings becomes evident when we take Our Lord’s words to heart. In our daily examination of conscience, we can find where we are out of step with God, just as a dancer reviews his or her performance in between practices. Making a good confession allows us to resume the dance once more and get ourselves more fully in step with God.
The wonder of sacramental confession is that we can know God’s blessings, not just his mercy. We go to Confession to be reconciled to God for the very purpose of deepening our intimacy with him, not just to clear our conscience.
Now if all this can happen when individuals repent, imagine the blessings that could flow if a whole city—or even a whole parish—were to repent and intercede together. Longstanding wounds might be healed. Broken relationships might be restored. There might even be powerful conversions. Our Lord always pours out blessings when his people gather to repent and pray. Let us pray today that Catholics everywhere will take up this challenge.