Saturday, March 27, 2010
RCIA Retreat 2010
The Elect, candidates for the Sacraments of Initiation, from the various language groups will be participating in various retreats this weekend. This is a special time of grace for the candidates as they make their final spiritual preparation for Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.
During the period of Purification and Enlightenment (Season of Lent) that immediately precedes the celebration of the Easter Mysteries, there is already a shift in the atmosphere from formal teaching to a time of inner quiet, reflection, and more spiritual growth. It is a time of ‘going into the desert’ and seeking the Lord, listening in one’s heart for his call, and learning to respond to him. Lent becomes a time for quieting the daily noise, a time of deeper reflection on the Scriptures, and a time to recognise how the candidates/elect are being led by the Spirit. The elect are challenged to reflect upon their own conversion journey – how they have already changed and where they are called to continual change.
This 2-day retreat (1 day for some of the language groups) is the climax of the entire ‘retreat’ experience of Lent. This intense retreat is a time away from the daily world and its distractions for the purpose of being with God and listening for His will.
The theme for Day I of the Retreat is built around the symbol of the cross. It is hope that meditations, prayer exercises and reflections will lead the candidates to commit themselves more firmly to the cross of Christ. For it is in the cross, that they will encounter the God who loves them and wishes to free them from slavery to darkness and sin. It is the cross, that Jesus promises us new life.
On the Day 2 of the Retreat, the Elect will be led to recall the steps of the journey that have brought them here and they take a further step into the unknown, ongoing journey of faith in resurrected life. This retreat is based on the unusually long Liturgy of the Word for the Easter Vigil. The nine readings of the Liturgy of the Word remind elect and sponsors alike that they are indeed pilgrims on the way, a people with a story that is ongoing.
As a parish community waiting to receive them as new members, as brothers and sisters in Christ on the night of the Easter Vigil, let us keep them in prayer during this weekend as they make this journey with and into the very mystery of God.