Sunday, March 3, 2013

RCIA - 1st Scrutiny - 3rd Sunday in Lent "Unbelief to Belief"

This morning we celebrate the First Scrutiny in the Rite of Christian Initiation.  Our Elect, Cameron, will stand before God and His Church as he begins his walk to Jerusalem and his death to sin and resurrection in the New Life through Jesus Christ.

The readings this morning are taken from the lectionary for Year A and are proper to the Rite of Christian Initiation.  The gospel story this morning of the Samaritan Woman at the Well is in its self a journey from unbelief to belief – the same journey each of the Elect make as they heed the call of the Holy Spirit within their hearts and journey from unbelief to belief in Jesus Christ.

What begins for Jesus as an ordinary request for a drink of water becomes an intense catechizing of a sinner; moving this woman from her sinful, unbelieving state into belief.  Through her new belief she becomes an evangelizer for belief in Jesus Christ herself; proclaiming to others that she has found the Christ, the Messiah and inviting them to encounter Jesus.

In her exchange with Jesus, she begins by calling him a “Jew” (Jews and Samaritans were not on friendly terms, so her voice may have had a tone of hostility to it).  As the conversation progresses she calls him, “Sir” three times, each time little softer and gentler.

“Sir, you do not even have a bucket.” – Hostility/Skepticism
“Sir, give me this water. . .” – Asking/Pleading
“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.” – Honor/Praise

Now the woman recognizes Jesus as a prophet.  And when she goes to the village to tell others of Jesus, she refers to him as the Christ, the Messiah.

This remarkable transition – from unbelief and sin - to belief and grace - mirrors the faith journey of those who come to faith in Jesus through the Church’s Rite of Christian Initiation.  Each traveler on the journey of faith begins in an unsuspecting way – unknowingly responding to the call of the Father in their hearts through the Holy Spirit.  In His love and mercy, He moves each person’s heart into an ever closer encounter and understanding of His Word, Jesus Christ.  Each heart is called and purified – moved from indifference and unbelief – to engagement and belief – so in faith they may rise up proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord!

We, like Jesus in the story, are each evangelizers whether we realize it or not.  By our lives, - we walk in faith, - leading others to Jesus.  We speak volumes:
 – In our thoughts,
- In our words and
- In our deeds –
- Of the love of God in our lives. 

We are doing God’s will – calling others to His loving embrace - Calling our family, - Our co-workers - Calling those with whom we socialize - And all other people – whom we encounter in the ordinary moments of our day –
For we are known as Christians by our lives
Our lives in Christ, in the love of God and in the Holy Spirit
Amen ~

Deacon Don Ron

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