Why do we confess to a Priest ?
When Jesus rose and appeared to his disciples, and wished them peace. He breathed on them, and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Those who you forgive sins are forgiven; those who you retain them are retained ”(Jn 20: 22-23). From this passage I want us to notice three things:
a) Jesus' gesture of blowing is very significant. Let us remember that God blew the breath of life into the nostrils of the first man. (Gen 2, 7). Here he is instituting a sacrament that will also give new life, in this case the soul of the sinner, as his sin is forgiven.
b) Jesus could had been able to send his disciples and invite people to confess directly to God, but he did not do that.
c) The Lord gave his disciples the power to forgive sins, in his name, but he did not give them the power to guess them, so it is evident that whoever wanted to obtain forgiveness had to confess them. This biblical passage shows the moment when Jesus himself instituted the Sacrament of confession. Later, Saint Paul affirms: “God… reconciled us to himself through Christ and entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5, 18).
Going to confession with a priest allows you to experience the extraordinary relief of humbly acknowledging and confessing what was wrong; vent to another human being who you can be sure will not say what he heard in Confession; receive advice; a penance that helps to atone for guilt, and the grace of God that strengthens us to avoid falling into the same thing. Let us remember that whoever goes to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is confessing to God… The Priest is simply a mediator.