This last week of the 2013 Liturgical Year, Pope Francis issues his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) . There are many elements of his Exhortation which resonated with me especially when he reflects on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Reading through the document I ask myself, how does The Joy of the Gospel inform our SCORE process as we ready our children to receive Reconciliation? One example, he’s instructive to address one’s experience in the confessional [is] “an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to be our best.”  Pope Francis continues … “Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.”  His reflections are so timely especially during these final weeks of preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation.
The holiday season provides many openings for all of us to experience God’s forgiveness and mercy. In our relationships with siblings, parents, spouses, friends, neighbors, colleagues we experience those daily interactions that can be prickly and hurtful. In the spirit of The Joy of the Gospel, the Pope challenges us to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” by opening our hearts to God’s merciful love and forgiveness. We all know that it is difficult at times to say, “I ask for forgiveness,” or “I am sorry.”
We continue to give witness of God’s merciful love and forgiveness. At the November 17 SCORE class we focused on Lesson 11, We Prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition are two areas that we will revisit upon our return to SCORE after the Advent/Christmas break in January [We do met for our annual SCORE Family Gathering on December 15].
In the meantime dear Parents, God’s Spirit continues to work through you. During the next several weeks, pray together Lesson Eight, A Brand New Beginningfound in the First Penance packet. This lessonguides families through the process of Reconciliation which includes an Examination of Conscience, and The Act of Contrition.
As we enter into the Thanksgiving weekend, I am indebted to Claudine, Lilly, Romy, Tiana, and Violette for their love and commitment ministering with our children. Also, to the parents who are “on call” and available to assist with Sunday SCORE. To all SCORE parents who selflessly give of their time and energy in the faith formation of their child. All of us, by our witness, echo God’s love in our communities. Together, in the words of Pope Francis, [we] “are summoned to a revolution of tenderness.”