Our beautiful Season of Lent is a time when we are all able to practice the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and works of charity, that we have hopefully been doing for the rest of the year. Now, these forty days of Lent, are opportunities where we can show the Lord that we have been taking seriously the gospel message, of conversion and prayer, to heart. By design, Lent has us begin by once again remembering the temptation of Jesus (First Sunday) and His transfiguration (Last Sunday). Now, this weekend, we deal with our identification with Christ and our seeking eternal life.
A special segment of Lent are the three Sundays prior to Easter where both our ‘Elect” (Kay) and each of us are given the opportunity to hear the gospel texts of the Samaritan woman at the well, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus. Each of these scriptures, in order, contain the symbolism of water (the well), light (blindness), and life (being brought back to life). This symbolism is to be both remembered and carried to the Easter Vigil celebration where they are repeated: baptismal immersion (water), which takes place at night(darkness), in the presence of the community with lighted candles (light) and welcomes Kay (newly baptized) into the life of God in each of us through Christ (new life).
Something that we need to be clear on is the meaning of the Ritual of the Scrutiny’s. This is not to be understood as a process where we ‘grill” Kay either on her past life or understanding of everything that the church teaches or stands for. If we did this for her, then we should subject ourselves to the same testing. A modified version, of seeking to see if all of us understand what we proclaim and believe, comes when we renew our baptismal promises. A better understanding of a ‘scrutiny” is a prayer prayed for our “Elect’ (Kay)…offering community support as she seeks to be part of the church here in our parish. To affirm this pledge, we will give her three symbols that represent the essentials of the faith that we embrace…a copy of the Creed, the Lord’ Prayer, and the Book of the Gospels. May these gifts represent our faith that we wish to share with her…now and always.