On Christmas eve, at our Vigil Mass, Sean will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. It’s been a long journey – around 20 years, married to a Catholic, and parenting 4 Catholic children, and the time seems right. Sean has been part of a Catholic parish community for all this time, learning how Catholics pray, how they worship together, how they live out faith in daily life, and have a care for those on the margins. He’s been part of all this! After 18 months of more formal ‘enquiry’, and some instruction on various aspects of the Catholic faith that he needed to know about, Sean and the community felt that Christmas Eve would be perfect – and so in these last days of Advent, he is especially in our hearts, as with Paul we pray ‘Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News’. Sean wondered if he ‘knew’ enough, and then he realised that he could never know enough! There would always be more – and it would be in the realm of experience that he would grow, surrounded by the love and support of family and community, his relationship with Christ would develop. We, the community, have been encouraging him through lectio with the Sunday Gospels – and like Mary, some of what has been heard has been deeply disturbing….challenging… That God is with us! Do we believe it? Is it true? This is our story! As James Hanvey said in the Tablet (29.11.08) We are not dying! We are not declining! We are being made ready! We are learning anew who we are, and the mystery of what we carry within us! Sean is helping us to do this!
‘A secular world can describe us… if it chooses. It may seek to dismiss us… but it does not write our story! It can’t judge the life of the Spirit or the work that God is doing in His people!
James Hanvey, Tablet, 29.11.08
In the fulfilment of Sean’s initiation , the Holy Spirit overshadows, and in the fullness of time this Christmas Eve, as we celebrate the great solemnity of the Incarnation, the world stands still, as Sean’s past, present and future are brought together, and Christ is born anew in another of God’s holy ones, ‘You are my Son, this day have I begotten you’. – Sean’s quiet and humble response and our prayer too, ‘ Let what you have said be done in me’.
Let’s pray with joy and hope for one another as God’s glory breaks on the world time and time and time again! Very happy Christmas to all bloggers and readers!