During the season of Lent, the Church celebrates the calling of the Catechumens, now called the Elect, to prepare themselves for baptism at the Easter Vigil and invites the parish to join with them in this time of spiritual purification and enlightenment. The Rites of “Scrutiny” are meant to uncover and then heal all that is sinful in the hearts of the Elect, and to uncover and then strengthen all that is and good.
Quite literally, the Scrutinies are about seeing. They are a means of seeing sin in its true aspect and seeing Christ as the liberator of us all. The Elect will reflect on the sin in their own lives, in order to turn away from it and walk into the light of Christ at baptism. Because the entire community will renew its baptismal promises at Easter, we too will examine our lives in light of God’s word.
This week, the Elect experienced through the Gospel of John the Grace of Christ, who is the light of the world (Gospel of the man born blind whom Jesus heals in the second Scrutiny). Next week, the Elect will experience the Grace of Christ, who is the resurrection and the life (Gospel of raising Lazarus from the dead in the third Scrutiny).
The Scrutinies open our eyes, so that we can experience the freeing touch of Grace, which restores our sight and lets us see good and evil, sin and Grace, as they really are. By journeying with the Elect and by praying and reflecting through the Scrutinies, we will open ourselves to experiencing Lent at its fullest, growing in our faith, and deepening our conversion.
We pray to open the minds and hearts of our Catechumens and Candidates to the presence of Christ in their lives, as they continue their journey to Easter!
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20