From Section V: A Year of Mercy
In the sacrament of reconciliation, Christ invites us on a journey to new life. It begins with a serious reflection on the quality and character of our life of discipleship, on those times when we may have failed to live up to the gift of mercy we have received, when we have not loved God or our neighbor as we are called to do, when we have not let God reign in our lives. Confessing this, however, is only the beginning of the sacrament. The end, the goal that God seeks is reconciliation. As with the prodigal son, God does not dwell on the pain of our going away or our sorrow for all we have done to distance ourselves from God. The sacrament of reconciliation is ultimately about the joy of homecoming — of passing through the holy door to rejoin God and our divine family.