Will You Let God Surprise You?
Some of our "Men of RCIA" with apologies to the rest of the group who were out of the room when I took the picture....
I used to be a person who really just gritted my teeth and tried to make it through Lent without too much thought to pain and suffering. That's what I thought Lent was about. When people in my past talked to me about the Paschal Mystery...I could only hear the stories of suffering and death, I never seemed to be able to see the Resurrection.
It came to my attention recently, that my feelings about Lent have changed. Without my even realizing it, I know that Lent is now a sacred season that I find awe inspiring. I know what made the difference too...the difference has been walking my Lenten journey with those folks who are preparing to be initiated into the Catholic church. (RCIA folks)
What an amazing gift they have been to me, and to the church at large. These folks come from such different backgrounds, with wonderfully individual stories of how God has called them into a relationship with himself. Feeling a desire they could not yet fully understand, they courageously took the leap of faith to discover who this God was. They question. They pray. They struggle. They search relentlessly. And they respond to God with open hearts. They amaze me every day.
And their example inspires me to want to be as generous as they are in giving my whole heart to the service of God's people. As we enter into these most sacred days, I hold my brothers and sisters who are on the journey to baptism, to becoming one with us, in my heart and in my prayer. I ask you to do the same for my friends here, Muhan and Ramel, and for those in your churches who are entering into the waters of baptism, and joining us for the first time and the banquet of the Eucharist.
We who are the church, are a crazy bunch, "crazy" in the most loving sense of how we talk about our family...for all our strengths and our weaknesses, these folks want to join us on our journey to salvation. How privileged are we to have these new believers, on fire with the love of Jesus, to join us and renew the spark of faith in our hearts.
May these holy days be filled with many blessings for one and all of us. May we all pray and celebrate well. May we leave some room for God to surprise us!