Accepting Faith

Lent is a time to help catechumens make their final decision in accepting faith on Easter Sunday. Catechumens have the privilege of knowing and understanding faith through catechists, community, their own sponsors, and daily prayers. Now in Lent they receive their final set of instructions. In the early church, it was their own bishop who imparted those lessons.

The first reading is about the beginning of faith in one true God. It is about the call of Abraham to trust and live a life of faith in Yahweh. There is one condition for the new life in faith – Abraham had to give up everything that was his own and familiar to him. Abraham was asked to leave his hometown, his relatives, his business, his property, his comfortable life in the most prosperous kingdom of Babylon, that gave him security. And, he was asked to leave behind his former faith which also was very familiar to him.

We cannot and should not embrace faith for our convenience. Faith demands radical change. Catechumens will have to change their entire life and embrace new realities. In one of his homilies, Bishop Douglas Crosby narrated a story of a woman who was in the process of becoming a catholic. At the ‘rite of the election’, the Catechumens gather with the bishop to show their intent in embracing faith. This woman carried her little child to the table, placed the child on the table beside the book she would sign. The bishop observed that the child was looking intently at everything as it happened. This little child did not know that this whole process would impact her life forever.

Now in the Gospel, the catechumens were given some idea of how to model their lives in faith. After embracing this new life, they were asked to listen to the voice of Christ alone. The vignette of the transfiguration takes place on the mountain peak, where Jesus is transformed into beyond this earthly Avatar. Then the disciples hear a voice affirming to them that it is Jesus, the beloved Son of God, and they were asked to listen to Him. Life-giving words come only from the mouth of Jesus. The catechumens now should learn to listen daily to Christ. Jesus’ words will transform their life for eternity.

What about us who are cradle Christians? It is a time to reflect on how much our lives are transformed by the words of Christ. Unless we let go of our attachments there is no room for a new life of faith. Let us take a journey with Abraham to a new ‘Promised Land flowing with milk and honey’!

 –Fr. Ranjan D’Sa OCD

Category Reflections