One day a little sheep wandered away…
The Gospel story of the Good Shepherd becomes the heart of our preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation. The lesson focused on preparation for the sacrament. To set the theme, I presented a large image of a tall, gentle looking shepherd, lovingly carrying a little sheep on his shoulder. Following the shepherd was his flock. The children gazed with wonder at the image, and after several prompts they soon discovered “that’s a picture of Jesus the Good Shepherd.” Their retelling of the story presented a beautiful tapestry of God’s mercy. One of boys moved by the conversation responded, “When I look at the picture, I just want to cry.”
We discussed sometimes our actions hurt others and we feel isolated and lost. God does not want us to go astray. Jesus, the Good Shepherd leaves the other sheep to go out in search of us, and carries us back to the fold. God Loves us, and is always ready to welcome us back home. This is the theme the children will hear again and again. Jesus is always there to welcome us back home.
Children learn by doing, in class they created a mini-poster of a little sheep with several prompts to help them reflect upon good behaviors, and good choices. They were instructed to hang the poster in a place where they can be reminded of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Next week, we will continue our conversation and focus our attention on the Examination of Conscience and the Act of Contrition.