This period of Christmas time is awash with journeys. We had the Nativity, the feast of the Holy Family and on sunday we celebrated the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God all leading to the Epiphany this coming sunday. In these 12 days of Christmas we hear how the birth of Jesus came about with Mathew’s genealogy, we follow the shepherds to Bethlehem and accompany the magi as they give homage to the infant Christ.
All of the above scenes may be very familiar to our candidates and catechumens, but a trip to the crib: perhaps to host a session, singly or in a group, offers an imaginative form of catechesis as an opportunity to open up the Word of God, and could finish with a shortened celebration of the word [RCIA 81-82 ]
It offers a suitable time to allow the catechumen to share their journey, what messages and insights they have experienced, how straight has their path been, and what form guidance in prayer and community support may perhaps take in future weeks and months.
For the team: catechists and sponsors, it is useful to re-assess how the journey is progressing with an eye to how far the prerequisites for taking the first step of acceptance into the order of catechumens has been accomplished. Perhaps explore RCIA 42 as part of a team meeting, for there is always the need to constantly evaluate and assess the ‘candidate’s motives and dispositions’ [RCIA 43], just as there is the need to discern the state of readiness of the catechumen for the Rite of Election.
Above all, have fun, for this is the season of joy and happiness, and a great time to involve the whole parish community, in supporting the candidates and catechumens.