Good evening, I was chosen by the RCIA class to say a few words about what our journey over the past year has meant to us. To those of you who have lead our ?Break Open the Word? sessions, you know my words will be few. Our class motto could have been ?Silence is Golden? because of our shyness and reluctance in sharing our thoughts and feelings concerning the Sunday readings.
All kidding aside, this past year has been an incredible journey for all of us. We all came from various Protestant backgrounds and joined RCIA because our spouses are members of the Catholic Church. We wanted to strengthen our family bonds through a common religious faith. Through the past year of our faith journey, a dimension appeared that we did not expect. We started because of our spouse?s beliefs and we are ending this phase our journey because of our new found faith and love of God. Our faith has deepened and grown through this past year and has changed the way we choose to handle our daily life. We now make choices and decisions based more upon ?What Would Jesus Do?. We have also gotten a different view of God. Many Protestant faiths speak of God as a vengeful, wrathful and judging God. The Catholic faith has taught us that God is loving, caring and always there for us with open arms.
The RCIA class has given us a better understanding of the bible and of the Catholic faith. This knowledge has been invaluable to us during our journey so that we could make a fully informed choice about the Catholic faith. The funny thing is that as our knowledge and understanding has grown, we realize how much more we don?t know. This has created a desire in us to continue our journey through scripture classes and/or the many ministries of the church.
Another blessing that we have experienced along our journey is the friendships we have formed and the sense of community we have experienced. The friendships we have made during our classes have become important to us and brought us closer together as a faith group and made our journey even better.
The church community has been very supportive of us and has shown us how truly blessed we are to join the Catholic Church and the St. Nicholas family. We thank you. The catechists who have lead our ?Break Open the Word? sessions brought their enthusiasm and love for God with them every time we were dismissed from Mass. They have shown us that there is no single ?Catholic? way; that everyone brings something to the table; and that the community as a whole is strengthened and enriched as a result. We thank you. Our sponsors have been very supportive and giving of their time and knowledge as we made our journey. They have answered questions we may not have felt comfortable to ask in class when we first started. They have shared their experiences as Catholics with us and touched our lives. We thank you. The RCIA team members, Father Gary, Deacon John, Liz, Babbet, Brenda, Corinne and both Jim?s have given of themselves and their time. They have shown us how truly wonderful the Catholic Church is and how lucky we were to be called by God at this time to join the church. We thank you. Our spouses have supported us as well. They adjusted schedules so that we could come to class on Monday nights, they have been there with every step we took; and our relationships have grown and strengthened because of our common faith. We thank you.
As the first part of our journey ends here tonight during the Easter Vigil, all we have learned and been taught has been pulled together by the Holy Spirit and moved us in ways we have not expected this past week. Starting with Palm Sunday and continuing with Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we have reflected on Jesus? last days and have tried to imagine what it must have been like for him. Jesus made the Ultimate Sacrifice for us so that he could give us the Ultimate Gift. Just as Jesus was reborn, we are reborn in the Catholic faith. As our faith has grown so has our desire to participate in the Eucharistic Celebration. We can now join you all at the table and partake of the Eucharist and add a new depth to our spiritual lives. Again we thank all of you who have supported us this past year and thank you for taking us into your community.
I teach a class in RCIA on Catholic Morality & Conscience. Your remark that you now base your moral decisions in life on "what would Jesus do" reveals all anyone needs to know to form a right conscience I could do my whole class with just those 4 words. God Bless.
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