Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Third Scrutiny 

The Scrutinies are prayers the priest, in conjuction with the congregation, prays over the unbaptized catechumens preparing to join the church at Easter. The Scrutiny prayers are on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. The First Scrutiny this year was a prayer based on Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, the Second Scrutiny was based on the healing of the man blind from birth, the Third Scrutiny, today, was based on raising Lazarus from the dead. Our priest had the unbaptized catechumen kneel and he prayed that any and all evil from their past lives would be left behind when Jesus called them forth at their baptism. Father laid his hands on their heads and we all prayed for them.

After this special prayer, we had the normal prayers of our church: for a successful, peaceful resolution to the conflicts in the Middle East so our soldiers can return safely home; for an increase in vocations to stable marriages, the priesthood and a dedicated single life; for an end to abortion, especially in the United States; for those who have died and those who mourn the dead; and for the intentions we hold silently in our hearts.

The rest of us Candidates (those of us already baptized in other faiths) then joined the Catechumens and were dismissed to study the the readings. While everyone else attended to the Eucharist, we focused on the 1st reading, the reading from Ezekiel 37 and how it foreshadowed the Gospels:

Reading I
Ez 37:12-14

Thus says the LORD GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

In two weeks, we will join the church at the table. We generally have three Masses each weekend: Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning. After we join the Church, our RCIA class will disperse among those Mass sessions and, perhaps, some to other churches. We've been in class together for about seven months of Saturday dismissals and Monday RCIA sessions. I'm already looking ahead to missing my classmates.

What was it Yoda muttered about Luke Skywalker? "Always he looked to the future...Never his mind on where he was!, what he was doing!" Yeah.

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