Reconciliation – a family celebration
God is Love…God forgives unconditionally…with no strings attached. God is always present waiting for us to experience the loving embrace of the Divine. To me, it was obvious to see God’s tenderness made visible as you lovingly held your child throughout the Rite of Reconciliation. You, are your child’s first experience of God’s love. My prayer, asking God for the graces to sustain our children’s first experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here are some of my reflections:
- Savor those grace-filled moments that you experienced with your child(ren) on Saturday. Like Mary, who treasured the moments as she watched Jesus grow in grace, wisdom and knowledge.
- Take time to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation; make a practice to go at least twice of year. When you need to hear the words of forgiveness and experience God’s healing grace, mark the day: Saturday from 3:30-4:15 pm—in the Reconciliation Chapel across from the baptismal pool or call the Parish Office at 847-864-1185.
- Cultivate a culture of reconciliation within the family by saying, “I am sorry,” or “I forgive you.” Make visible St. Francis’ Peace Prayer, and praying it together as a family – “Make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
- Take time to read with your child(ren) one of the Gospel stories. We all love stories. For example, each Sunday we begin class with listening to one of Jesus’ healing stories. We use prompts to help the children enter into the story imagining that they see and hear Jesus speaking to the people. Yesterday we heard the story of Jesus heals a deaf man, [Mark 7:31-37]. How do you think the deaf man felt when he first heard the birds sing? Imagine what his first words were that he heard. What do you think Jesus wants us to hear in this Gospel story? The children are invited to pray, asking Jesus to help them listen to their parents and teachers.
- At bedtime, pray with your child(ren) recalling God’s presence throughout the day, and when needed express sorrow and ask for forgiveness. Pray together the Our Father.
With Sunday’s class we gradually transitioned from Reconciliation to preparing for our children for Communion. How fitting for them to write THANK YOU notes to Mom and Dad, and their siblings for helping them get ready for their First Reconciliation. Eucharist means THANKSGIVING…As we begin preparing our children for their first experience of coming to the Table of the Lord, may we grow in our understanding that we are baptized into the Body and Blood of Christ.