My sons came along with me to church this morning. We took along the camera, hoping that our priest will wear pink today. But nope, he wears purple. I would love to see Catholic priests wearing pink robe so do send me the link to any such photos, ok?
Well, in case you do not know, the colour of the robes that the Catholic priests wear, i.e. including the Pope and all the Bishops etc from Vatican go by the seasons. Catholics have three different years, i.e. Year 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C and we follow a set of Bible readings according to each year. This is a standard throughout the world. We are now in Year 3 and today is the first Sunday of [tag]Advent[/tag]. The colours are something like red, green, purple and gold. Red/Gold is for celebrations, green the ordinary weeks and purple for funerals and another type of purple/pink for the four weeks before [tag]Christmas[/tag].
When we reached the church, we went, oh, oh, sei lar…today got [tag]RCIA[/tag] rites which means looooong mass. But in the end, I am glad I was there this morning. It moved me to tears abit ‘cos I was like these catechumens four years ago. I was pregnant then. My toddler is going to be four years old next year. The people surrounding the priest, kneeling down at the altar are people who are searching for the Way, the Truth and the Life. They are journeying on their way to become [tag]Catholic[/tag] [tag]Christians[/tag]. This is probably the first of the few rites they have to go through before they can become Catholics to be baptised on Easter Vigil. See? It is not easy to be Catholics. So, don’t get misled with any SMS again. We are not recruiting MLM-ers.
So, the first rite was to ask them why they are here (in the church) and they have to answer something like they want to find out about Catholicsm. Then, it was followed by exorcism. Well, there is nothing dramatic but merely a profession that they are denouncing things they worship (like money?). After that, they are given the ‘eye, mind, ear opening ceremony and a mark on their shoulder’. It means that they will hear and see and think as Christians. Their godparents have to mark on their shoulders to represent the gentle yoke they have to carry as a Christian. OK, maybe my explanation maybe wrong but it is something in that effect.
It is in all a very poignant process to me because it rewinds back all the things I had gone through. We, the rest of the people
sitting, looking bored, cannot wait for the whole thing to finish fast-fast so that we can get back to life like having lunch, movie etc etc ……were then reminded of our responsibilities to help these new catechumens. I think this is something many of the Catholics, especially cradle Catholics ought to keep in their hearts. It is not easy for us, the converts to strive into a church to seek God. Let’s rejoice the fact that these people have come to know Christ and have some thoughts that they were here for a reason. Usually, they have gone through some hardships. Admittedly, I don’t get the kind of welcome that I expected except from the same few people.
But what I was most glad was to hear Father F.A.’s homily. He touched on the danger of fears. He said that we have been cowed by too many things and we no longer dare to show our real selves. I was like jumped out of my seat. Me! Me! Me! Father F.A. I like to show my real self but usually, I get condemned. It happens to me all the time. And the worst condemnation comes from fellow Christian. They do not want to see the Lord’s works through me but pick on every little things to put me down. What do I do about that? Heh, I really enjoyed the homily because it is liberating. I realised that if we are in Christ, we have to assert that more often. Not in a preachy way but I know that we mustn’t let our Lord be put into hiding. He said that we do not hide a lamp. We are the lamps.
16“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” (Luke 8:16-18)
Shine, [tag]Jesus[/tag], Shine! Rejoice!