ENDURANCE: Be Sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit
4th Week in Lent
RCIA Sessions for March 11 & 15
SUNDAY'S READINGS, Year A
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
"He said, 'I do believe, Lord,' and he worshiped him." -cf. John 9:1-41
As the focal point of all our readings this week, we have the Gospel story of the man born blind. This man had much to endure. Many who cared little for blind man or his troubles, even his own parents, used him for their own purposes. But Jesus remains close to him. We know the man can really "see" when he finally declares, "I believe" and bows down in worship. The blind man sees more clearly than anyone who Jesus is: his statement of faith, "I believe" comes from deep within his heart and will guide his every step. He will probably falter. He will continue to be opposed and disregarded. But there will always be a way back, and if he perseveres, the blind man will be blessed always to walk in the light and love of Christ Jesus, his Lord. He is an example to us of holy endurance which we learn first in our own families - not by what is said, but by the ways we carry on in the face of all that is difficult.
In the first reading God chooses an unlikely leader, David. Samuel, who was once the young boy who heard God calling him in the night, still hears the voice of God clearly and follows God's instructions to anoint the youngest boy, David, rather than one of his older brothers. From the moment of that anointing "the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David." David served as the second King of Israel, succeeding Saul. David is the one who kills the giant Philistine armed only with a rock and a slingshot, and the grace of God. God makes a covenant with David, and despite David's failure and sin, it is from the "line of David" that Jesus our Savior is born. From an inauspicious boy comes a great king, and through his descendants our God, Emmanuel. This reading should remind us of the anointing we receive in baptism and confirmation - and the power of the Holy Spirit to change the course of history through every humble life.
Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved of all prayers; pray this often.
The second reading of Ephesians paints a portrait of us as "children of light." When we received - or will receive - our baptismal candle we are enjoined to "walk always as a child of the light " and to "keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts - so that when the Lord comes, we may go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom." We wait until sunset to begin the Easter Vigil every year. Then, in the dark, we build a roaring fire, bless it and with it light our Paschal Candle. That Paschal light leads us all into a dark church, that gradually becomes light as each of us receive a small flame to hold for ourselves.
CALENDAR: Second Scrutiny this weekend
- The SECOND SCRUTINY takes place after the Homily at the 7 pm, 10 am and 3 pm Masses this weekend, March 10 &11. The Elect (those to receive Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist at the Easter Vigil) should come 15 to 30 minutes and check in before Mass. They come forward when the priest invites them to come forward right away without hesitation; no names will be called. The Elect gather around the bottom step of the Sanctuary with their Sponsors/Godparents or parents behind them. Many prayers will be prayed for the Elect and for the community as we await the Easter Sacraments.
- This week in our RCIA Sessions we explore quickly the Sacrament of Confirmation, and we meditate on the Our Father.
- TEAM MEETING on Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 pm in Holy Family Room. We will be preparing for the Vigil and checking in on all our candidates.
- Don't forget to mark your calendars for the Easter Vigil practice on March 27 at 6:00 pm in English and 7:00 pm in Spanish - in the Church.
- Also, remember, whether you will be receiving Sacraments at the Easter Vigil or some time after, all in RCIA are asked to gather and pray at 9:00 am in Church on the morning of the Easter Vigil, Holy Saturday, March 31 - this PRAYER is called the RITES OF PREPARATION.
- All receiving Sacraments at the Easter Vigil will need to come that evening, March 31, at 6:30 pm. Please be at the RCIA Sessions each week so that you have all the information you need to know what is happening each week, including at the Easter Vigil!
PRACTICE THE FAITH: Trust, Believe
- Continue the disciplines of Lent, even if you have faltered. If the discipline is weak, try to strengthen your commitments rather than quit them all.
- This is an AWESOME VIDEO on CONFIRMATION - and just about 5 minutes long
- Andrea Bocelli sings Our Father
- How to receive communion video online
- "What You Need to Know about YOUR Initiation at the Easter Vigil, but Didn't Know to Ask" is a handout with all the details you need for the Easter Vigil
WHEN DO SACRAMENTS HAPPEN?
- All catechumens will be baptized, confirmed, and receive communion for the first time at the Easter Vigil, March 31, 2018 at St. Monica.
- Almost all adults and teens who are baptized Catholic but who desire Confirmation will be confirmed either at the Cathedral by Archbishop Thompson or at their wedding at St. Monica.
- Those adults or teens who desire their first Communion, may choose to receive it at the Easter Vigil, at a Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, or at the Cathedral when they are confirmed (or at their wedding when they are also confirmed).
This week are RCIA we will fit everyone who is being baptized with a baptismal "gown." We will also be sure we have all your records and the correct date of your reception of each sacrament.
- Stations of the Cross - every Friday in Lent at 6:00 pm in the Church - by the Youth Group
- Weekly Confession Times in Lent
- Monday-Thursday: 6:00-7:00 pm
- Friday: 3:00-4:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00-11:00 am & 3:00-5:00 pm
- Sunday: 7:00-8:00 am and 9:00-10:00 am and 11:30 am -12:30 pm and 2:00-3:00 pm and 5:00-6:00 pm
- Written "Guide" on how to go to Confession - whether it is your first or hundredth time.
- Two videos online about "how to go" to Confession: Confession 101, Part One & Confession 101, Part Two