This Sunday at the 9 AM Mass, Jennifer Mueller, Ruben Jimenez, and Yamilet Jimenez will assemble publicly for the first time to declare their desire to enter into a relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Their spiritual journey has brought them to this point as they prepare to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil on April 8th. With the Rite of Acceptance that we celebrate today, the Church will accept them as “catechumens” (those who are receiving catechesis). Now they become part of the household of Christ – a spiritual change that brings them into the fold of Christianity.
On Sunday, February 26, they will join other catechumens from across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at the cathedral to participate in the Rite of Election. At the cathedral, Archbishop Nelson Pérez will formally elect the catechumens for admission to the Sacraments of Initiation. The Rite of Election is the earthly celebration of the catechumens being elected by God. It is celebrated with great solemnity to show how much the Church recognizes the importance of the decision to seek unity with God. After the celebration of this rite, Jennifer, Ruben, and Yamilet will become “the elect.”
Our elect will continue their journey with a period of purification and enlightenment throughout Lent. The Church helps them and encourages them to enter into a deeper understanding of Christ’s saving sacrifice with the celebration of three Scrutinies (on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent). Our elect will be invited to prayerfully reflect on the sinful nature we all possess and their desire for salvation. This is a good time for us to also reflect on sin and repentance.
Jennifer, Ruben, and Yamilet are joined on this journey by Taylor Pearsall and Angel Jimenez who prepare to complete their Christian initiation with the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. Taylor and Angel will join us on the 2nd Sunday of Lent for a special Penitential Rite where we will all be invited to prayerfully prepare ourselves to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we approach Easter.
Entering into this Lenten season, let us pray for them and let us use this time to reflect on our own Baptism and the gift of eternal life.