Reconciliation – a way of life. . .
Sunday, February 1st, would have marked the beginning of preparation for our children’s first experience of Eucharist. The best laid out plans, must surrender to the dictates of Mother Nature. Sunday morning, our region was being buffeted by blistery winds, and heavy snow. So be it – religious education classes were cancelled. When it was all said and done, the Chicago Tribune reported that this weekend blizzard, with 19+ inches, was the 5th largest to ever hit the Chicago area.
Amazing. . . it was just one week ago the children and their families celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Saturday, January 24th the weather was perfect with lots of sunshine and temps peaking into the upper 40’s. It was like the heavens opened up, with an outpouring of warmth and light surrounded our community. For many of us, crisp blue skies with lots of sunshine lightens the heart. So it was on Saturday, January 25th. For many children, the experience of First Reconciliation dispelled their fears, “Will I get in trouble?” “Will I get yelled at?” Quite the contrary, the celebration of Reconciliation was very meaningful as it created space for those who participated to experience God’s love and forgiveness. The following day, the children in attendance designed and decorated THANK YOU notes for their parents. Notes that speak a deeper reality of our experience of God’s love and kindness.
This is my fifth year of assisting parents prepare their children for Reconciliation and Eucharist. Through this process, I’ve have grown in my understanding and experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I believe that reconciliation is a way of life. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I am very aware of own shortcomings and need for forgiveness. Through the graces of this Sacrament, I’ve come to know of a God who loves me unconditionally, God forgives me, and I am called to do the same with those with whom I encounter.
My ministry as a catechist enables me to accompany so many families. It is my hope and prayer that all parents and children, through the sacrament of Reconciliation will come to know and experience the love and mercy of God. Through the grace of reconciliation we are called to forgive others, and we have been forgiven. Reconciliation, a way of life, a way of being peacemakers in our world.