From the Desk of the D.R.E.: Entering the Mystery
Everyone loves a good mystery. Writers like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, have kept us on the edge of our seats for years as we try to unravel that which we do not understand. As Catholics, we too, are enveloped in "mysteries". Jesus is a mystery. The Messianic Mystery. Theologians and thinkers throughout the centuries have tried to unravel the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and failed. How can the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be a single God? And how does the bread and wine that are consecrated at Mass become the Body and Blood of Jesus while still appearing and tasting like bread and wine? And just what is our soul made of? How does baptism leave an indelible mark on it, claiming us for Christ? And, at every Mass, we proclaim the mystery of Faith: "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again".
At our Easter Vigil this year, 4 souls entered into the "Mystery". This period directly following the Easter Sacraments is known as "Mystagogy", a Greek word meaning mystery. This RCIA period spans the 50 days of Easter, ending on Pentecost Sunday. But in reality, it really spans the rest of their lives because Conversion is a lifelong process. You and I are walking our own "Mystagogy" every day. With the help of God's grace and our own perseverance, we will continue to learn and to grow in our Catholic Faith.
Unfortunately for us, life can get in the way. We will inevitably experience both mountaintop moments and valley moments while on our life's journey. Many of the newly baptized say that the spiritual high they experienced at the Easter Vigil didn't last long. They may feel confused after preparing for initiation and now that they are members of the Church, they don't know what they should do next. And they also say that they love their new faith but still have questions. This is where we come in.
We are all part of the Body of Christ, and bound to our Baptismal Promises. St. Paul reminds us: "Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do."
Our newest Catholic sister and brothers are: Laura Graham, Manuel Almazon, Bryan Almazon and Alan Almazon. These neophytes will no doubt experience some of these same feelings of confusion, doubt and anxiety that comes with being newly initiated. There's an old saying in the Cursillo Movement, "Be a friend, make a friend, bring a friend to Christ." If you see them at Mass, the parish hall, or anywhere else, welcome them warmly and let them know you care.
May we all enter into the Mystery. Happy Easter to you and yours.
-Mike Holbrook, D.R.E.