This past week we celebrated first reconciliation with some of our children. It was rescheduled from an earlier date due to the rise of Covid infections stemming from the Christmas school break. It is a joy to welcome these children to a new experience of God’s love for them. It is also a delight for me to see their openness and enthusiasm in celebrating this sacrament, though sometimes there is a little nervousness as well. For many, as we get older, that enthusiasm for the sacrament lessens, and the nervousness increases. Maybe it is because we become more self-conscious. Or worse, maybe we begin to doubt God’s love for us (or worry that a priest is not going to be a messenger of that divine love). When I was growing up, Confession (as it was called back then) was a regular part of our Catholic elementary school schedule, as it still is today. Not having a school, it falls on the parents to ensure their children have an opportunity to experience God’s forgiveness and the freedom from sin that God desires for us. What would it be like if children knew their parents celebrated this sacrament? Would they grow up knowing that God can open any door, that we are free to become our best selves and that sin never need be the last word but rather the occasion to experience God’s love and mercy? With Lent just around the corner, plan now to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation of Easter.