Pope's General Audience of 3 January 2018: Full text
Dear brothers and sisters:
In our catechesis on the Holy Eucharist, today we consider the penitential rite. To prepare ourselves to celebrate worthily the sacred mysteries, we acknowledge, before God and our brothers and sisters, that we have sinned. Significantly, we make this confession as a community, yet in the Confiteor each of us speaks personally: “I confess… that I have sinned.”
Like the humble publican in Jesus’ parable, we strike our breast and recognize that we are unworthy of the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness. We then beg the intercession of Our Lady and all the angels and saints to sustain us on the path of holiness and conversion. The priest then pronounces the absolution – “May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life”. Unlike the absolution granted in confession, this does not remit mortal sin, yet it expresses our trust in God’s promise of forgiveness and reconciliation.
We thus join the great line of biblical figures – like David, the Prodigal Son and Saint Peter – who, conscious of their sin, acknowledged it before God with confidence in the transforming power of his grace.
Biblical reference: 1Corinti 10, 15-17
I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.