Do y’all (“y’all” is in the dictionary, I promise) remember the television advertisement for Motel 6?
Thomas Edward “Tom” Bodett is an American author, voice actor and radio host. He was the spokesman for the hotel chain Motel 6, whose commercials end with the phrase,
“I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for ya.”
Well, somebody in marketing for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops came up with a similarly memorable slogan for a campaign to get us back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which immediately made me think of Motel 6:
“The Light is on for You.”
For many of us Catholics, both those brought up in the Church since childhood and those formerly of Protestant or non-Christian faiths, the Sacrament of Reconciliation can seem a bit frightening. Perhaps it has been a long time since we’ve made a confession. Perhaps we struggle with disbelief, with despair, with human weakness, with addictions, or with lingering resentment or grief. And yet, how wonderful it would be to be freed from these chains!
Here in Atlanta, the Archdiocese is participating in this USCCB nationwide “campaign.” In addition to the regular parish penance services, the Archdiocese of Atlanta is promoting a Lenten Day of Reconciliation: Friday, March 22nd from 3pm-7pm. All Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Atlanta will provide an opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of penance. Catholics, especially those who have been away from the Church or the sacrament, are invited to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington has put together wonderful resources for their parishes they’ve made available to all parishes across the country, which includes homily assists, graphics, flyers, downloadable marketing pieces. “The Light is on for You” is not actually a “campaign.” It’s an invitation. It’s an invitation mainly sent to those who have been away from the Sacrament for years and want to come back.
I know I will be sure to get to the Sacrament before Good Friday but today, during this Light is on for You campaign isn’t going to work with my schedule. If this nationwide effort brings even one fallen away Catholic back it will be so worth it!
Here are “general intercessions” from the Archdiocese of Washington concerning this effort:
- The Lord desires that all be saved through his life, Passion, and Death. May we all take advantage of his forgiveness and mercy by availing ourselves of the Sacrament of Penance this Lenten season . . .
- Lord, you did not condemn the woman caught in adultery but sent her away forgiven and in peace. Help us not to fear your justice but instead to come to you in humility to seek your mercy and healing love
- Lord, your Cross has redeemed us, your Death has given us new life, and your Resurrection raises us to glory with you. Help us to seek your healing love this Lenten season by availing ourselves of the Sacrament of Penance . . .
- That we all may be attentive to God’s Word, confess our sins, and receive his forgiveness this Lenten season . . .
- Lord, we often feel heavily burdened with the difficulties of life and our sins. Help us to find the grace to return to you and to receive your peace in the Sacrament of Penance this Lenten season . . .
- That we might have the grace and power to turn to Christ, Our Savior, and to confess our sins with humble hearts, that we might be cleansed from all that separates us from him . . .
- Father, you know our sinfulness and many weaknesses. May we reach out with joy to grasp your hand and walk more readily in your ways this Lenten season and always . . .