Monday, March 9, 2015

3rd Sunday in Lent - RCIA Reading Year A, 1st Scrutiny

This morning we celebrate the First Scrutiny in the Rite of Christian Initiation.  Our Elect, will stand before God and His Church as they begin their journey toward Jerusalem: death to sin and rising to New Life in Jesus Christ.

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

What begins as an ordinary request for a drink of water becomes an intense encounter of identity, revelation and conviction; moving this woman from her lonely, sinful, and empty life, - leaving behind all her old ways, - to arise to a life of faith, hope and joy, the life of discipleship in the Way, the Truth and the Life found in Jesus Christ.  She is so strongly held in her new found life, that she begins to proclaim to others that she has found the Christ, the Messiah; inviting them to also encounter Jesus: to be healed and be changed.

The woman’s transition is seen in the way she addresses Jesus.  She begins by calling him a “Jew” (in a most unfriendly way).  As their conversation progresses she calls him, ‘Sir’. Each time a little softer and gentler.  Finally, the woman calls Jesus a prophet.  By the time she reaches her village to tell others about her experience with Jesus, she recognizes Him as the Christ; announcing to the others that she has found the Messiah.

This remarkable transition – from a life of unbelief, a life of sinfulness – moves into a life to belief, an awakened desire for a new life - a life of grace – and a life filled with a need and desire for a closer relationship with God through His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

This is the faith journey of those who come to faith In Christ Jesus through the Church’s Rite of Christian Initiation.  The faith journey each traveler finds, with God’s abundant grace, in the Christian community.  It is where we believers witness to them our own journey in the love of God.  Where they may hear the Father’s call within their heart to come home among His beloved children.

In the Father’s love and mercy, He invites each person to journey into an ever closer encounter through His Word, Jesus Christ.  Each heart is called and purified – moved from indifference and unbelief – to engagement and faith – to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord!

We, as Jesus in the story, are each evangelizers whether we realize it or not.  By our lives, - we walk in faith, - leading others to Christ.  By our thoughts, words and deeds – our lives of discipleship – we witness the Lord’s love and the Light of Christ to the whole world. 

We do God’s will – making known His promise of salvation and everlasting life found in Jesus: calling all others to His loving embrace - family, friends, co-workers, classmates and everyone we encounter in the everyday of the world; fulfilling our baptismal call, ‘to make disciples of all nations’.

Let us be known by our lives.  Let us be known as followers of the Way.  Let us be known as Christians, by our love for one another found in Jesus Christ, and by our belief in the resurrection and the promise of life everlasting, in the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ~ Amen.

Deacon Don

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