First Reconciliation

First Reconciliation prep: let’s look at the process.

On a chilly Sunday morning in 40 degree weather the children planted bulbs in the courtyard garden of St. Nicholas church. What was so special, these little children were doing a community service project in preparation for first Reconciliation.  We know, given the right conditions the 30+ daffodil bulbs will burst forth in the spring delighting both children and all who pass by.
This week’s lesson, seeds and growth cultivated the children’s imagination. As one group planted bulbs outdoors, another group explored the right conditions for the life cycle of a little acorn and some milkweed seeds: the acorn seed grows into an oak tree, and milkweed seed grows into a plant which hosts monarch butterflies.  These little seeds became quite instructional as we talked about the right conditions for relationships to grow and flourish; especially our relationship with Jesus. The lessons of the acorn and milkweed seeds in a little brown bag; I hope it all provided teachable moments at home.

A teachable moment for those of us accompanying the children:  the seeds speak to the deeper reality of the sacramental process. Yes, we are preparing the children to celebrate First Reconciliation – the experience of God’s tenderness and mercy through the Rite of Reconciliation – examination of conscience, confession of sin, absolution and act of contrition.

There are other layers to the process: just like the little bulb your child carefully placed in the ground, the lesson enables us to reflect upon the conditions to cultivate  right relationship with ourselves, God, our partner, our children, neighbors, and coworkers. What informs the conditions in our relationships? The sacramental process affirms your desire to raise your children to be loving, compassionate human beings who care about others, the planet, themselves, and their relationship with God.  The upcoming lessons will help us to explore further the conditions which nurture the sacramental process. Stay tuned  .

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