Another long Lenten journey has come to a close. Tonight we celebrate the great Easter Vigil. Over 100,000 people will be welcomed into the Catholic Church around America. Wow! What an exciting moment. I know it is one that will never be forgotten for the many catechumens and candidates who will be welcomed into full communion this night.
This always makes me recount my own faith journey. Though I was not born into the Catholic Church, we joined when I was too young to remember otherwise. I vaguely recall going to a couple of other churches when I was very young, but I still consider myself a cradle Catholic. That being said, I think that far too many cradle Catholics take their faith for granted. For many, it is much more of a cultural thing. After a while if they go to church at all, it may be just at Christmas and Easter. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing rocks. I used to be one myself!
That is why I love to talk with these converts. They have made a conscious decision to come into the Church. They desire to learn about what Holy Mother Church really teaches and believes. And they must agree with those teachings and beliefs. Otherwise, why join? Those of us who are cradle Catholics must make that conscious decision, too. In fact, we must decide every day whether we wish to follow Christ and His Church or follow someone or something else. Let us welcome our new brothers and sisters in Christ, and try to be the example to them that they are to us.
Father, we pray for all those “newly minted” Catholics. May they flourish in your Church, and help the Church to flourish in the world. Amen.