This year’s RCIA Network Conference is called ‘Bridging the Gap’. It will be based on the period of the pre-catechumenate. One aspect it will consider is what sort of parish helps the RCIA to happen.

This Sunday’s Gospel(s) might offer an aid to reflection.

In year C we heard the parable of prodigal son. In the Sunday’s of year C there two interconnecting strands – the covenant that God continues to offer in love and stories of God’s mercy in the Gospel. They would make a good series of readings for anyone looking at ‘returning Catholics’.

When we consider the story of the Prodigal Son and think about our parishes and communities – who are we most like? The Father – waiting, looking out for and all-forgiving; the elder Son – wondering what all the fuss is about and how this might affect them; or perhaps even the pigs – unaware of the great things happening in their midst?

Or in Year A – the Man born blind. Given the rising number of catechumens who became elect at the Rite of Election one might presume that more and more parishes are celebrating the Scrutinies and using Year A readings…

Once again the gospel story does not paint a great picture of community. Between the authorities and his parents the blind man is buffeted. It is only in Jesus, the true heart of community, that he finds healing and enlightenment.

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