Witnessing the Healing Medicine of Jesus Christ at a Retreat for Youth and Young Adults
By Deacon Kevin Bezner
For the past few months I have been studying and reflecting on the Holy Mystery of Repentance, or confession, as part of my preparation for ordination to the priesthood. A course on evil and exorcism at the Seminary also has led me to reflect on sin and its consequences, the importance of living a sacramental life, and the need for deliverance from sin and the devil. Overall, my studies have led me to a greater understanding of the necessity of confession, a sacrament of healing and deliverance that some have called the “forgotten medicine.”
During the Great Fast, I was given a valuable experience in pastoral formation. As part of an annual Lenten retreat for youth and young adults sponsored by the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma, Ohio, I was invited to chaperone and present an examination of conscience in preparation for confession. Second year seminarians at B.C.S., Michael Kunitz and Kyprian Wojciechowski, also participated in the retreat as presenters, masters of ceremony, and assistants to Bishop Bohdan Danylo during Divine Liturgy.
Preparing the examination, and witnessing the desire of the youth and young adults at the retreat for the Lord’s healing grace, helped me see the necessity of this holy mystery and the priests who administer it as instruments of the Lord. Without priests, the young cannot develop the habit of confessing their sins frequently. Without priests to hear their confessions, they cannot receive the particular grace of this sacrament. Without this grace, they are left without an essential defense against sin and the devil.
I left the retreat with a deeper understanding of confession and how a priest helps bring the healing medicine of Jesus Christ to the wounded and the suffering.
(Deacon Kevin Bezner is to be ordained a priest for the Saint Josaphat Ukrainian Eparchy of Parma on All Saints Sunday – June 16, 2019)