At the 9:00 a.m. Mass this Lord’s Day, we will celebrate the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The process of bringing people to encounter Christ in faith so that they may respond to His grace by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) is one of the most important aspects of our religion that we as a parish accomplish.
The RCIA was re-instated by the bishops at the Second Vatican Council. Originally, it was thought that this Rite would be aimed at missionary countries in Africa and Asia. However, as the age of secularism grew, we found out that there is a constant need, even in places where Christianity had taken hold centuries ago, for the Church to be ready to assist those who desire religious faith to be prepared in these rites to do so.
The first rite acknowledges that these men and women, boys and girls are beginning to walk the journey of the Christian life and learn about the Catholic religion. Our parish has people who have committed themselves to assist them in this journey (clergy, catechists and sponsors/godparents). However, in the Introduction to the RCIA, the Church reminds all of us: “The whole community of faith must always be fully prepared in the pursuit of the apostolic vocation to give help to those who are searching for Christ.” So, everyone in our parish has some role to play in this process. We do that by (1) actively living our Catholic faith, (2) responding to those who ask questions about our religion, (3) being open to those who may ask, ‘How do I become a Catholic?’, and (4) praying for those who are in the RCIA as Catechumens and Candidates for Full Communion.
As we celebrate the Rite of Acceptance again this Lord’s Day, let it be a reminder that each of us give a constant witness to Christ by the manner in which we live our life. Therefore, be faithful to Christ and His Church.