‘BE RECONCILED TO GOD’
In his well-known letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul writes to his readers:
‘So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God.’
We are commanded, then, to reconcile ourselves with our God; that is, to mend our relationship with him, to heal or settle any problem between us, and to restore our friendship with him after a period of estrangement or ‘falling out’.
During the season of Lent, of course, we are specifically called and challenged to restore our relationship with our God – and with our fellow human beings – through a variety of means such as fasting, prayer, self-denial, almsgiving and acts of mercy and compassion. But, in particular, we are greatly encouraged to carry out acts of penance and repentance, improvement of attitude and lifestyle, and genuine change of heart and interior conversion, in order to come back to God and RECONCILE ourselves with him once more.
And it has been in this very same spirit of humble conversion and personal sorrow that the students of Salesian College have been taking an active part in Reconciliation Services for the past two weeks. As a consequence, all students in Years 7 – 11 have had the opportunity to attend such services to date, with the Year 12 students having their reconciliation service next Monday. As Rector of the College, I must say that I have been most impressed by the positive and cooperative manner in which all students have participated in the year level reconciliation opportunities provided, and by the serious and reverent way in which a reasonable number of students have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance.
Whilst acknowledging the students for their respectful participation, I also wish to thank those members of staff, especially Miss Melina Barcellona, the Year Level Co-ordinators and the Oratory Leaders, who guided and accompanied them during their reconciliation services, as well as those Salesian priests who made themselves available to the students for individual confessions. These priests were Fr Oreste Cantamessa and Fr Lawrie Moate from the Salesian community at Chadstone, and Fr Frank Bertagnolli (former Rector of the College) and Fr Kelly Kam from the Lysterfield Salesian community. Many thanks!
So, my friends, let us conclude by returning to St Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Corinth for a final thought:
‘It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation.’
So let us begin the work we have been given,
Fr Greg Chambers