2013 Advent Reconciliation Reflection
Many of our students assisted with decorating and preparing our Main Chapel and courtyards for Advent and Christmas. It is beautiful and we are thankful for several donors in our community that made it happen. During the Advent Penance Service, this past week, the students had the opportunity to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At the foot of the altar, a display of rocks and brinks were laid as a reminder that we all are on a path. At the beginning of any relationship, it can be awkward and unstable. We are careful when and where to step in fear of not knowing how the other will respond. As the relationship builds we walk on a more solid foundation, we become comfortable and feel safe with the other.
Being a good friend involves spending time with each other, telling stories about the day, celebrating successes and encouraging each other when times are bleak. A good friend is one who keeps in contact, someone who is patient and encouraging and protects the other, and keeps them focused on the right path. Friends forgive one another.
In the same way, God reaches his hand of friendship to us o a daily basis. He offers His love, protection and grace. God is there waiting for us on the path. He wants to be an active part of our daily lives. He wants to be included in our decision making, our celebrations and our struggles and sorrows.
But, do we accept and return the friendship? It’s not easy, in fact it’s hard work. In our culture today we want things now! We want things easy, we want things without working for it. We want things we can see and touch. However, even though we may not be able to physically see or touch God, other than through the Eucharist, we can experience Him through His creation; through His sunsets and snowflakes, through a newborn baby and through the eyes of child at Christmas. We experience His love for us in the little things we take for granted and in the huge moments of our lives, when we are truly scared for a loved one or for ourselves.
How can we go beyond just “recognizing” Him in these moments and build and develop an honest, sincere friendship with the Lord? We can begin here and now. We can begin by following the solid path and foundation that has been laid before us. We can begin by thanking Him for our blessings and asking Him for forgiveness, healing and the guidance to make right choices.
An important part of the reconciliation process involves healing. If I fall and break my ankle, my doctor will offer options for a healing process. The process may include a pain reliever, a cast, rest, possible physical therapy, and finally walking on the fragile bone slowly, until it is healed and back to “normal”. Part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a “remedy” for the healing needed. Sometimes, it’s prayer of gratitude and other times I’ll practice a therapy that is more planned – making choices about what I can practice doing, through my words and actions and what I can practice avoiding.
In this season of Advent, how can you improve your friendship with God? Suggestion-start with the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Peace and Blessings to you and your family.
Michelle May, Campus Minister