The confessional is a place of forgiveness, not threats, Pope Francis stressed February 27, 2018, in his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
He pointed out that Lent is a time that is “helpful for conversion,” according to Vatican News. It is a time for growing closer to God and making changes in life, he affirmed.
The Pope cited the first reading of the day, from Isaiah (1:10, 16-20):
Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!
Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
Like he did with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, he calls us to come to him, to set things right – no matter what our sins, according to the Holy Father, who continues to compare God to a parent helping a child to find the right path.
“He is like a father of a small child who has pulled a prank, and he has to correct him,” the Pope explained. “He knows that if he approaches him with a stick in hand, things will not go well.
“He has to approach him with trust and confidence. In this passage, this is how the Lord calls us: ‘Come on, let’s have a coffee together. Let’s talk this over, let’s discuss it. Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to beat you.’”