CGS Connection – Sacrament Preparation – Part 4

CGS Connection – Sacrament Preparation – Part 4

In the time since our last CGS Connection, our local group of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd children, as well as those around the world, have been continuing their preparations for their next sacraments. As was previously written, when possible, CGS catechists try to heed the recommendations of our “Rome Model” of preparing the children. In 2 more meditation times this spring, children have gathered to reflect on several key scriptural passages. Time is also built in for silence and contemplative handworks in all of these special gatherings outside of our regular meeting time.

During one session the children were guided to reflect on three back-to-back parables in Luke 15 which help to ponder the literal accounts of what was lost and is found. But then we invite the children to ask what Jesus is revealing to us at a deeper level. From the sheep to the coin to the son, the children (and adults) reflect on the similarities and differences of these lost ones.  What would it be like to lose one so precious or to be the “lost”? To find or to be “found”?  What does sin have to do with being lost? What about the lamp that was lit to “find” what is lost? How about the Father waiting without fail, and seeing his son from a distance? Additionally, the Parable of the Merciful Father and the Found Son, aka The Prodigal Son… what a beautiful model that offers for the steps of Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Interestingly, what happens in all three instances when the lost are found? This rejoicing and communally celebrating is our model for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We can ponder, “Where does God call His people together and celebrate being together in the Sheep Fold?!” No matter to what extent of separation, sin, we can be forgiven and brought back into union, into communion and it is with great celebration that the Lord will nourish each one of these children (and each one of us) at every Eucharist!

The final of the sacrament meditations before the “retreat” focuses on the Healing of the Centurion’s servant. This final passage (Matthew 8:5-13), is not a parable but an historic reality. We ponder the Roman’s amazing faith despite not being of the chosen people and his courage to come forward. We ponder his authority, yet his humility. We are prodded on by his model of intercessory prayer and total trust.

The children are then asked to recall if they have heard something very similar to the Centurion’s words before. The Domine, non sum dignus, “Lord I am not worthy” prayer that we pray every single Mass now has a very concrete meaning for these children. We are instilling in them the memory of this man’s situation and the hope to bring our own and other’s ills and brokenness to Jesus for healing every Holy Communion that is going to begin for them in just one more month’s time. This passage also highlights so well the unity of the two pillars of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: scripture and liturgy.

Coming Soon! Part 5

PS. Please pray for all the children preparing to receive our Lord!