Say YES to the Invitation of God
Last Sunday afternoon several hundred Catholics from south of Carp all the way to Lompoc gathered down the street from us at San Roque Church. We were there to honor, welcome, and bless men and women from our local parishes who will be fully initiated into the Catholic Church at Easter.
Representing our St. Barbara parish were Teresa and Jason who will complete their entrance into the Catholic Church by being baptized here in the Mission church during the Easter vigil, on the night of April 11th. I ask you to pray for them as they prepare. They are powerful signs to us of how we can all say YES to the invitation of God.
For Jason and Teresa the path of conversion is marked by turning points, which is true for all of us, when we think about it. For those coming into the church, our Catholic tradition asks that during Lent these special moments be made public, with ritual and communal prayer. That’s what was happening at San Roque last Sunday, as Bishop Barron led us in the Rite of Election – this rite highlights the point in the journey of new disciples when the Church accepts and sanctions them. In the presence of the Bishop, the ceremony becomes an outward sign of the choice that God has already made, a choice summed up in a phrase from the prophet Isaiah: You are mine.
In his homily Bishop Barron reminded us that before there was original sin there was an original blessing. The Garden of Eden is a sign to us of God’s desire for the fullness of life for us. With Teresa and Jason, we journey toward a full embrace of that blessing, new life in the Risen Christ.
Fr. Dan ofm, Pastor