This week is the second anniversary of when my region of the country shut down, and sheltering-in-place began in hopes of reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Like many, we thought we were hunkering down for two weeks at home with the kids. My girls looked forward to the break like I looked forward to snow days growing up in Indiana. It was the third week of Lent then too, and I thought we’d be back to church for the adult baptisms and confirmations at the Easter Vigil. Of course, we all know that we didn’t get to experience Easter in the usual way in 2020. My RCIA group waited until August to be baptized, confirmed, and receive their first communions during a Mass in the parking lot, sitting six feet apart, with no singing behind our masks. I thought it would be disappointing and anti-climatic for them, but God worked God’s usual wonders, and it proved to be a beautiful and moving ceremony. One newly baptized had to change her mask mid-Mass because her tears soaked through her first one!
In my experience as an RCIA Director, those converting to Catholicism often take their faith more seriously than many of us in the pews. They hunger for companions on the journey who intentionally choose to practice their faith in their everyday lives, not just be culturally Catholic. They are looking for others to be examples of a different way of living—a way of living rooted in following the teachings of Jesus and loving your neighbor as yourself. If one of these converts met you, would the way you live your life inspire them?
For Action: Do you know anyone in your parish RCIA program this year? What can you do to support them? If you don’t know them, try to find out their names from the parish staff so you can pray for them specifically as they prepare to receive their sacraments in a few weeks.
To Pray: Loving God, bless and inspire those preparing for baptism, confirmation, or first Communion in several weeks. Help me live in such a way that my life might inspire them.