The first class of Religious Education (SCORE) draws the entire community together as children, parents, and catechists gather in the school cafeteria, with heightened energy, excitement, and for some, a little anxiety. This is a space where grace happens, friendships renewed and nourished. The new SCORE year begins with the celebration of Eucharist, and at the end of Mass SCORE families and catechists are called to the sanctuary, blessed and sent forth in procession to the school cafeteria.
Quite fitting that the Gospel reading for this first Sunday of SCORE began with a question Jesus posed to his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:27-35) As we accompany our children during this year of sacramental preparation, it’s important to ask how the sacramental process will deepen my faith in Jesus the Christ?
In the Gospel we hear Jesus posing the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus created the space for his disciples to reflect, to respond, and to take action. Though we don’t hear about it in this particular reading, I can imagine there were a couple of the disciples who struggled and wrestled with Jesus’ question. It is through questioning, through struggle and at times doubting that our faith is nurtured and deepened.
This year of sacramental process presents all of us the space to rethink our beliefs, our understandings of what it means to live reconciliation and eucharist. The celebration of these two sacraments is not a “one-time event” rather, a continuation of what began at our baptism. It is through our active participation that we encounter Jesus Christ in sacrament, and in the faith community.
This year of preparation gives us time to reflect how our understanding of Sacraments, as well as our relationship with Jesus has evolved from our own first experience of Reconciliation and Eucharist. We read in the Scriptures, Jesus grew in grace, wisdom and knowledge; Jesus was both human and divine. We share in that Reality that the Divine is within us, our children, within the Faith Community. Through our prayer, our worship we become the sacraments of God, we are sent forth to heal, to love, to share God’s Mercy. May the wonder of God’s grace abound as we accompany our children during this sacramental year.