Today we celebrate the Third Scrutiny of our Elect Cameron, as he approaches the final stretch of this leg of his journey into the Catholic Church. But this is not the end of his journey of discipleship in Christ. As with all of us, the journey of discipleship continues all our life-long until we are called home by the Lord to rest in His heavenly Kingdom.
The Third Scrutiny is known as an exorcism, but I assure you there will not be any spitting of pea soup or heads spinning around – at least I hope not!
No, this exorcism is the calling out from the Elect - the death-dealing power of the spirit of evil into the light and life of salvation in Christ.
From death of sin into the light of life – not a resurrection, but like Lazarus, a reemergence from a dark and lonely place away into the light and life of the world – Jesus Christ.
In death, Lazarus hears the voice of Jesus and responds –he returns to life. Our Elect, Cameron too, has heard the voice of Jesus calling to him – Come Out! Come out of the darkness - into the Light – into the Life eternal and - the heavenly embrace of God. Live in peace and joy! Free from the bondage of sin and corruption - into the perfection of God’s love.
We too, in sin, become dead to life, like Lazarus, - but in the death of sin, we too - are still able to hear the words of Life, - the voice of Jesus calling out to us - and respond. We emerge from that dark and lonely place, through the sacrament of reconciliation, into the Life and the Light of Christ. We too, like the Prodigal Son, are received into the loving embrace of the Father, - who calls for a celebration in heaven - for the one who was lost and is now found – who lived in darkness and has re-emerged into the Light.
As was Lazarus, - clothed in the bindings of death – a shroud enveloping him, - surrounding him completely – we too are clothed in the deadly trappings of our sinful selves. And again, like Lazarus, Jesus calls out to the community and fellowship of those around us - to free us from those things that bind us in sin and death. We find our pathway to life through Jesus Christ and with the people of God, the Body of Christ. It is into this community that Jesus calls us back to Life and Love – into freedom - from the bindings of sin that kept us in darkness. Through His people, - in response to Jesus’ command, - we emerge from this shroud that surrounds us into his Light and new Life.
This is how and why the RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults works, - not as a closed group, but as a vital and living action of the salvation of Christ in His Church. It is the people of God, the church community that works:
· in prayer,
· in the example of living a truly Christian life
· in active participation in the life of the Church and
· In following Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations.
To free others from the bindings of sin – bringing them out of darkness - and into the Light
Our Elect, Cameron, comes to us today, not just because he wants to become a Catholic Christian, but because he is called – by God - through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And with the help of the holy people of God – he will emerge into the light, life and love of God.
So, let us rejoice in this celebration, as we gather together to witness Christ calling - “Come Out!”, to our Elect, Cameron, who is in darkness – so that that he may emerge from the tomb of sin and corruption into the Light of Life – as he journeys toward baptism and salvation - to live in the peace and freedom of God’s embrace.
Deacon Don Ron