This Wednesday some fifty of our second graders from both our day school and the PSR program will receive their First Reconciliation. As I told the parents of these children n their meeting, we don’t bring these little ones to the sacrament because they are awful sinners, but because we want them to have a familiarity with God’s mercy. Later in their lives–as it happens for all of us–there will come a time when they will very much need the full grace of this sacrament of forgiveness. We seek to develop habits of holiness in the children. It is important early on in life to develop the practice of examining one’s life to see where we have failed to love, how we might do better and then resolve to do so. The sacrament is for us; God doesn’t need to be satisfied. We adults know how refreshing it can be to confess our sin and frailty to God, and to hear a human voice speaking for God say: Whatever you have done or failed to do, I forgive you and will always love you. We humans claim to forgive and forget, but God really does. he does not remember or hold our sins against us. We pray for our children and many of their family members who will be receiving the sacrament on November 14th. And we also use the occasion to begin our remote preparation for the sacrament that hopefully many of us will receive at our upcoming Advent penance service. Perhaps the best way to begin that examination of conscience is by asking about being in right relationship with God, with myself and with others. I have come to believe that the Lord is not so much interested in a long litany of sins as He is in having us realize our need to change our minds. This is actually the meaning of the word repentance.