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Sacramental Preparation Models Christian Mission of Becoming a Disciple

Sacramental Preparation Models Christian Mission of Becoming a Disciple

By Melissa Coleman, Religious Education Coordinator

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This mission was not simply given to the apostles. It is given to each one of us, and, through this mission, the Church continues today. In order for us to make disciples, we must first become a disciple. It’s not an easy task, but with the help of the sacraments we are given the grace necessary to live out this mission. In preparation for receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Confirmation, we include formation in three key areas of discipleship – continual learning, prayer, and service.

Although it is impossible for us to fully comprehend God in this life, that should not prevent us from trying, and in doing so growing closer to Him. Through knowledge and understanding of scripture and Church tradition we can come to better understand our purpose and God’s plan for our salvation.

One’s prayer life is essential in this mission. Prayer can occur in many forms and the Church is rich in types of prayer. In sacramental preparation, we focus on Adoration. Adoration is prayer in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament. Why not go straight to the source of our salvation? Recognizing the true presence of our Lord and Savior in the Eucharist is a strong statement of faith. While in Adoration, any type of prayer can be practiced, even the simple act of silence in which we can hear our Lord speak to us.

As we grow closer to God through learning and prayer, we begin to see the face of Jesus in everyone we encounter. It is then that we are truly able to become the hands and feet of Jesus. We don’t simply perform an act of service, but it becomes an act of charity which includes love - love of God and love of neighbor. This love enables us to live a life of charity in how we see people, treat people, and speak of people.

In preparation to receive the sacraments at St. Maria Goretti, students have the opportunity to practice all these areas of discipleship. Through this process, they are well prepared to receive the sacraments, and the graces given through the sacraments, to continue on this mission. Students also understand that this process is a model for Christian living and helps them to be well prepared for every sacrament they receive throughout their adult lives, not just when receiving a sacrament for the first time. Jesus promised to always be with us and it is through the sacraments that he keeps His promise.

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