Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the miracle of Jesus’ birth. We ponder the wonder of it all and wait with anticipation and hope. Similarly, we find that Advent is a wonderful time to receive God’s love and forgiveness in our lives. What better time for children to reflect on their Savior, and hope and repent as they prepare to receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation.
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to prepare the Blessed Trinity Academy 2nd graders, my homeroom students, for this amazing sacrament. I instill upon them that we have such a loving and forgiving God who by the reconciliation of Jesus, accepts us for who we are. During this time of preparation we talk about the importance of making good and loving choices. We put up a “loving choices tree” in our room and the children get so excited to add a leaf every time they find themselves making a loving choice, like helping a friend in the classroom. Through our writings in our daily Jesus journal, the children ask God for help. They also express how much they love and appreciate Him. Often they tell Jesus how much they are sorry for the times that they have hurt others and express their gratitude to Him for being so forgiving. “I truly love reading their reflections.” Another activity we do in our class is make a prayer rug.” When they are finished the children take it home and find a special place to examine their conscience and talk to Jesus.
Reconciliation is what Jesus does in our lives. He died on the cross for us so we could be reconciled to God our Heavenly Father. Our job is to receive that gift and strive to have a forgiving heart towards others and be gentle with ourselves, just as Jesus did. May our Savior be magnified during this holy season and reconcile us all to our Heavenly Father.
By Mrs. Margie Heasley, 2nd Grade Teacher at Blessed Trinity Academy