Sometimes when people want to be friends with me I think “really? me?” and can’t quite believe it. But that’s not what I want to write about.
Yesterday I watched three people be baptized into the Catholic Church, and two more make their profession of Faith before all five were confirmed, thus completing their full initiation. They were young and by all observation “normal” people. They decided on their own to join the Church. It’s hard not to think “really? us?”
Because like any big family we fight a lot, sometimes in public. We have opinions and we really, really care about them, sometimes so much that we don’t treat each other as well as we should. We have “old-fashioned” beliefs that are out of mainstream. We are called to welcome the alien, care for the vulnerable, commit ourselves to prayer, use our sexuality appropriately, forgive the sinner, and respect the dignity of every human being. Every. Single. One.
Still, for reasons I can’t understand, five more joined our merry band last night. They walked to the back of the church, to the font, were baptized, and returned to front of the sanctuary transformed. I don’t understand how water and words show grace to us. I don’t understand how oil seals us with the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand how or why God saves us and draws us in.
A belief system in which God only acts in ways we can understand would be boring, I suppose. Maybe there are other things I don’t understand which are also conduits of grace.
(To read about last year’s RCIA liturgy, involving spilled cups of water and high drama, click here)