In his homily Bishop Peter focussed on the temptations of the serpent, the evil one, and the grace which came in Christ to free us from sin.
“Our succumbing to the temptations of the serpent did not bestow the promised enlightenment,” he said, “but rather stripped us of our graceful primordial innocence.” He then expounded Paul’s Letter to the Romans, adding that although “sin entered the world through one man, and through sin, death,” nevertheless “in Christ we bathe in the cascade of grace that brings acquittal, justification and undeserved righteousness”.
The humility which this recognition brings should make us call out with the Psalmist: “Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.” We must all plead that God would place “a steadfast spirit within us”.
The Bishop then turned to the challenging opportunities of the season of Lent, encouraging us to confront the temptations which face us all: “the deceptions of earthly satisfaction…the manipulations which endanger life itself…and the blinding pride of self-idolatry”.
In the face of these, he rejoiced that we are “fashioned by the Father’s providence…redeemed by the Son’s sacrificial obedience…and sanctified by the breath of the Holy Spirit”.
“My brothers and sisters,” he concluded, “may God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment. Amen.”
After Catechumens were welcomed by Bishop Peter, they signed the Book of the Elect, which was placed in the font at the end of the service.
The Rite of Election, held on February 27, marks an important stage along the journey to undergo the final stages of RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults) and prepare to be baptised and confirmed, or to be received into the full Communion of the Church and confirmed. New members of the Church will also receive the Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil.
Catechumens are adults who have never been baptised and seek to becomes members of the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Candidates are adults who have been baptised in one of the Christian denominations and now seek to become members of the Catholic Church through the Rite of Reception, whereby they will receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
Pictured above is Bishop Peter welcoming Catechumens at the Rite of Election.
You can view a gallery of the Rite of Election by clicking on the link or the picture below.