Bishop Urges Catechumens, Candidates To Focus On The Word And Will Of God
Bishop Charles C. Thompson urged the 67 Catechumens and 79 Candidates who participated in the March 5 Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion to keep the Word of God at the center of their lives. “We need to keep in mind what has to be at the center of our lives,” Bishop Thompson said; “the very word and the very will of God.”
Parishes from across the diocese presented their Catechumens – those who will be baptized and confirmed, and receive the Eucharist during the Easter Vigil – and their Candidates – those who will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist during the Easter Vigil. Their respective sponsors joined them in the presentation at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville.
The bishop read briefly from Pope Francis’ 017 Lenten Message to the World: “Lent is a new beginning; a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion.”
“There’s a lot packed into those words,” Bishop Thompson said. He noted that the Church teaches us that conversion is a lifelong path, and he referred to the cermony’s Gospel reading from Mark, which concluded with these words from Jesus: “This is the time of fulfillment, The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).
“Our path of conversion means turning away from those things that draw us from God’s love, mercy and peace,” the bishop said. He also discussed the readings of the day for the First Sunday in Lent, which includes Matthew’s Gospel account of Jesus’ 40 days in the dessert and His temptation by the devil.
“Whatever challenges and temptations came along, (Jesus) turned to the Word of God rather than allowing himself to be seduced by the ways of evil,” Bishop Thompson said. “The Word of God must be at the center of our lives,” he added, “not our egos.
“It is that word that has captured our imagination and led us here today. It is that word that will see us to Easter and beyond. It will see us to what we all gather here to look toward – eternal salvation.”