Year of Grace

Year of Grace

During this Year of Grace our Parish community must become genuine ―schools of prayer where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly ―falls in love

During this Year of Grace: Like the disciples at the first Pentecost, we commit ourselves to start afresh from Christ.

During this Year of Grace: We desire for the light of Christ to burn more brightly in our hearts.

During this Year of Grace: We commit ourselves to repent for the area in which we have failed, individually and together, seeking healing and renewal through the grace of Christ‘s forgiveness.

During this Year of Grace: We commit ourselves to the path of holiness, cultivating the many gifts of the Spirit and seeking to grow as disciples of Jesus.

During this Year of Grace: We trust this year to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and through our renewed commitment, we are confident that we and our parish will be transformed by the power of Christ‘s resurrection in our lives.

A Little Jar Of Grace

As we begin our journey into this Year of Grace, one of the things that will be instrumental in our appreciation of how we are Graced‘ in our lives, is to spend time in thanksgiving for our many blessings. There are many moments and occurrences that happen throughout our days when we are blessed by God. Amazingly, more often than not, such moments go unnoticed. As a way of showing our gratitude to God, and visibly acknowledging our Graces, each church in our parish will have on display a large glass jar. Each glass jar will be placed in a prominent part of the church. These jars are to be receptacles of our GRACES! We encourage you to PRAY about what ways you have been graced/blessed. Then PEN each of these onto the pieces of paper provided and PLACE them gratefully into the glass jars. As we continue throughout this Year of Grace, we hope that you will continue to fill these jars with your blessings. Examples of these may be people for whom we are grateful, moments or ways that we have been blessed, prayers that have been answered, or even graced moments of God‘s presence with you in good times and bad. As the weeks go by we will notice these jars fill to the brim time and time again. Then at the end of the Year of Grace, at the celebration of Pentecost 2013, we will display all of these notes, as a visible sign of our being truly Graced by God.

About the Year of Grace

A year of grace is the Australian bishops‟ gift to the Church to celebrate and renew our faith and life as

Catholics. It began on Pentecost Sunday and is an exhortation from the bishops of Australia to

―Start afresh from Christ.

The Year of Grace is like a seed, being watered gently and growing with tender care. It comes from the bishops‟ reflection over a number of years on the Apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (at the start of the new

millennium) The Bishops of Australia welcome you to: A holy time, given by God. To start afresh from Christ, contemplating his face, and listening to his word, that he may heal our wounds, overcome all our divisions and make us rich in hope, so that we may show forth his face and speak his word to the world in new ways.

Remember our Jar of Grace: We have placed a large glass jar in a prominent place in each of our three churches. These jars are to be the receptacles of our Graces. We encourage you to Pray about what ways you have been graced/blessed. Then write each of these on the paper provided and place them into the jars. You may be grateful for someone‟s

kindness. For Prayers answered. For moments of God‟s presence in good times and bad. Let us fill the jars to the brim time and time again. Over the months as we journey along the way of the Year of Grace we will discover, through opportunities within the year ways to come close to Christ. For surely our faith is the progressive identification with the person of Christ.

The Story of Spirit and Grace

The story of the Spirit that begins with creation continues as the story of grace. The Creator Spirit who fills the universe is from the very beginning the Sanctifier, the bringing of Grace. From the beginning, the Spirit is presented to human beings in self-offering love. The Spirit of God who graciously accompanies and celebrates every form of life delights in the emergence of human creatures who can respond to the divine self-offering in a personal way. They are offered the gift of transforming grace. A grace-filled universe awaits their arrival. Alongside this story of grace is the tragic story of the wilful rejection of grace. Human beings are born into a world of grace, but are also drawn towards violence and evil. In the midst of such a world, the Spirit offers freedom and salvation in a way that Christians understand as anticipating, and as directed towards, the Christ event.

During this Year of Grace: We commit ourselves to repent for the area in which we have failed, seeking renewal through the grace of Christ‟s forgiveness.