Yesterday I had my first meetings with two children, both age 9, who are preparing to receive their first confession. The young man and I meet at 8:30 a.m. prior to Divine Liturgy which begins at 9:00 a.m. (during the summer). The young lady and I meet after coffee hour because she lives a distance and the parental units find it difficult to get her to church by 8:30 a.m. Father T feels comfortable with my being their ‘teacher’ and preparing them for this sacrament. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an awesome task and one which I approach with great trepidation. Not because I think I am unable to talk to these kids about this blessed sacrament. Not because I do not understand the material. But because I take this scripture very seriously:
The Gospel of St. Matthew 18:5-6
“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Everytime I stand before a child to answer a question, or teach a Sunday school class, or give them a hug this passage runs through my heart and makes it beat like a horse in the Kentucky Derby! It grieves me to think that I may do something to mislead a child.
May God have mercy on me as I teach these little ones of His about His love for them and reconciliation through confession. May His Grace cover them and me. May He be glorified.