“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment.” (Acts 3:19-21)

Have you ever been so thirsty that when you took a drink of water you felt energized? Maybe you were working outside for a long time, and when you came in for a break, you finally realized how much you had perspired. That first glass of water really felt good!

This is the kind of refresh­ment that God wants to give us every day as we examine our con­sciences and repent of any sins we find—and even more so every time we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Think about the way sin sepa­rates us from our all-holy God. Every time we turn away from the Lord, we distance ourselves a little bit more from his living water. If we never try to turn back to him, we eventually become so dehydrated that we lose all our energy and all our joy in life. We become wearied and worn down because we have walked away from the very thing that can revive us.

It was probably hard for the people around Peter to hear his words because he was so blunt and forceful. He didn’t sugarcoat his words because he wanted to wake them up to their need for the Spirit. So too with us, when we examine our consciences, the Holy Spirit will sometimes be just as blunt—but it’s only so that we can see our need clearly and do something about it.

So God calls us to humble our­selves and confess our sins. When we do, something beautiful hap­pens: God refreshes us by wiping away our sins. He restores us to himself and fills us with his living water again. We know his love more deeply. We experience a new hope in our battle against temptation. We know that God is on our side, and that knowledge gives us the strength and encouragement to keep moving forward. We are refreshed, restored, and revitalized—all because we said, “I confess!”

“Lord, thank you for the times of refreshment you have given me in the past. I want to know the freedom you are offering me today as I repent and confess my sins.”

Psalm 8:2,5-9; Luke 24:35-48