Enclosed in last week’s issue of the Clarion, you found a prayer card. The name on your card is the name of one of the Catechumens or Candidates. During the weeks of Lent, please offer prayers for all of the Catechumens and Candidates and especially for the person on your prayer card.
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.
On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent at 11am Mass, the community will join the Elect in the Rites of “Scrutiny”. The Scrutinies 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 good and holy.
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.
On these Sundays, the Elect will experience through the Gospel of John the Grace of Christ, who is the living water (Gospel of the Samaritan woman at the well in the first Scrutiny), the light of the world (Gospel of the man born blind whom Jesus heals in the second Scrutiny), and the resurrection and the life (Gospel of raising Lazarus from the dead in the third Scrutiny).
The Scrutinies will 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!
“[Baptism} gives us new birth in Christ, makes us sharers in the mystery of his death and resurrection, grants the forgiveness of sin and brings us new freedom as God’s children and members of his Church”.
Pope Francis – Vatican Radio Address on January 8, 2014