Much as I struggle with Lent (I am truly rubbish at fasting, self-denial, penance…), this year I am full of excitement because of our inspiring catechumens and candidates. When we met a few nights ago for catechesis on Lent and preparation for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this weekend, the joy and anticipation in the room was palpable. It is always an exciting time of year for the RCIA, but this year, I feel deeper conversions have happened, and there is more expectancy and longing for the sacraments. One day, I would love to share with you some of the testimonies of the catechumens… they are amazing – the Lord has truly blown me away in amazement at what He will do for people, regardless of our tiny little efforts.
What the Rite of Election reminds us is that God has chosen us. We might not feel that today, with rumbling tummies, looking forward to our big breakfast tomorrow morning 😉 But this weekend, what I pray most is that the catechumens have a sense that God has actually chosen them, all of this is His doing, they are simply responding and receiving. After the Rite, they will be known as “the elect” until Easter. Perhaps this sounds a bit strange to us – it sounds a little elitist, exclusive… But this is actually what God’s love is like for each of us – exclusive! He wants all of us, for himself. He has chosen us, and He will guard us as his precious son or daughter.
For those of us who were baptised as babies, we have no experience or memory of being “the elect”. But this weekend, for those of us attending these ceremonies, let us remember how God has elected us, set us apart, raised us to the incredible dignity of his sons and daughters.