We can get so caught up in daily life that we don’t think we have the time—or the need—to grow in our faith. Especially if we’ve been in the Church for a long time, it’s easy to think of learning about the faith as something new converts do in the RCIA process or children do in sacramental preparation. Just a short time ago at the Easter Vigil, the newest members of the Catholic faith received their sacraments of initiation. This month is the perfect time to reinvigorate your own faith by connecting with the new Catholics in your parish.
In the early Church, it was only after catechumens were baptized and confirmed and had received their first communion at the Easter Vigil that they were allowed to stay for the entire “Mystery of the Mass.” For them, the 50-day period after their Easter initiation was a time to plunge into the Scripture with new insight, to participate completely and wholeheartedly in the rites and rituals of the Church and to finally become a full-fledged member of the Christian community. It was the beginning of their life-long lived Faith experience, not the end of their catechesis.
Here are three ways that you can help new members of your parish—and yourself—deepen love for the Lord during the “mystagogy period” and all year long as well.
1. Invite one of the newest members of the parish to sit with your family—near the front! We all know children pay closer attention when they can see what’s going on, but the same is true for adults. Instead of crowding the back of the church, get up close and personal.
2. Talk about your own confirmation (Baptism, if you remember it) and ask the newly baptized to share their reasons for joining the church. Tell your children about their Baptisms. Get out the photos and relive the events.
3. Throughout the Easter season, remember to pray for those who were baptized and confirmed at Easter – that their faith in Christ may grow and blossom with each passing day.