jueves, 16 de enero de 2014

A message from Janelle, our Pastoral Associate in Ascension Parish

This year, I have the privilege of working with R.C.I.A. program and accompanying the participants who are journeying towards the sacraments (including baptism) at the Easter Vigil. I learn so much from our R.C.I.A. participants. As a so-called “cradle Catholic,” I can forget how much there is to explain. When is it appropriate to sit or kneel during mass? What is so unique about Mary? Why do we fast during Lent? When we join religious institutions, community organizations, or even try to a new sport for the first time, there are always new rituals and language to learn.

(If anyone can answer my lifelong question of why “love” is a score in tennis, please let me know!) There is certainly joy in learning the language and the rituals of being part of any group but those of us on the “inside” of the Church must remember that all these liBle details can be exclusionary if we don’t take the time to discuss them with those who may not be as familiar. In this week’s Gospel, John humbly defers to Jesus and implies that he feels unworthy to baptize him.

Jesus knows beBer. He knows that Baptism is an initiation into the Lord’s community and that he, too, needs to be a part of it. ACer the Resurrection in MaBhew’s Gospel, Jesus goes a step farther by reminding the disciples “Go, therefore, and make disciples out of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28: 19-20).

Let us all remember that we are each called to be welcoming ambassadors of our faith. Please keep the candidates and catechumens in your prayers and remember to be grateful for your own baptism and all that it signifies!

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