Some years ago now, a newspaper columnist wrote about a program for removing tattoos—especially gang related ones—from young people. A surprising thing happened. Thousands of letters came in from people all over the county for more information on the program. Because of the remarkable response the Los Angeles School district and a local cable television company produced a film called UNTATOO YOU. It told about the dangers of amateur tattooing and showed how difficult it is to remove tattoos. The stars of the film were the young people themselves. They
talked frankly about why they were tattooed in the first place and why they now wanted the tattoos removed. In a similar way, most of us have done things we now wish we could undo, wish we could erase. Thanks to God’s mercy, this becomes possible for us. Over and over again Our Lord calls us to repentance with the promise that we will be forgiven. We can begin to go in a new direction with the past overcome. Think of the man lowered down through the roof to Him or the woman caught in adultery. Think too of the Prodigal Son who is welcomed home by the forgiving Father. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the same Lord is present to us offering the same mercy and forgiveness. Let us never hesitate to approach Him so that the past will not control our future.