While St. Peter is describing the Sacrament of Baptism here, he could just as easily be talking about Reconciliation. For what could possibly be a better way to experience a clean conscience than by going to Confession? We know that when we confess our sins, we are forgiven—completely! But then comes the real challenge: keeping our consciences clear after we have received absolution. It’s one thing to experience God’s forgiveness, but what will change us so that we don’t end up confessing the same things over and over again? You may be surprised to find that the answer lies—again—in Confession! The sacrament doesn’t just empty us of the past; it also fills us with grace for the future. That’s because in Confession we meet Jesus, who came not only to pardon our sins but also to make us holy. In Confession, Jesus lifts the weight of our past sins from our shoulders so that we can go out into the world free from guilt, inspired by grace to say an even firmer no to sin than before. Of course, we all face temptation, just as Jesus did in today’s Gospel. But because Jesus triumphed in the wilderness, we can triumph as well. Jesus, the victor, is always ready to help us when we call out to him. He is right next to us, reminding us of his forgiveness and urging us to accept the grace he has stored up for us. He is here to remind us that he has overcome sin and that we can now enjoy the fruits of his victory. So make sure you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent. And when you do, know that the grace of this sacrament is there to cleanse you and to fill you with God’s power. It is an ongoing grace that brings you closer to Jesus and strengthens you against any and all temptation.