By Sarah Mac Donald - 20 February, 2018
“Your presence and activity are signs of the renewed sense of Christian vocation and call to holiness of all Christian faithful. I thank you for that witness" - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Thirty-one catechumens have entered the final phase of their preparation to receive Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the forthcoming Easter Vigil in the Archdiocese of Dublin. One candidate has also asked to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
On Sunday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin celebrated the Rite of Election and Recognition of Candidates, at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin.
Speaking to the 32, he paid tribute to them for following the process of catechumenate, listening to and deepening the word of God in their hearts.
He greeted those who had prepared the catechumens and candidates for this journey, especially the representatives of the parish communities to which they belong.
“Your presence and activity are signs of the renewed sense of Christian vocation and call to holiness of all Christian faithful. I thank you for that witness. I pray that our common renewal in the Lord can develop and deepen.”
Referring to the Gospel reading, Archbishop Martin said the battle between good and evil continues in the hearts of all today. “We know that the presence of evil is still among us; we know how easily it can enter into our hearts and into our society.”
He continued, “We can see this in the senseless violence and total disregard for life that has marked the streets of Dublin recently. This is simply evil no matter how some may try to justify it even to glorify it. Evil is evil and those who work such evil are evil.”
“We recognise the presence of evil in our hearts and in our society. However, it would be wrong for us to become morbidly preoccupied with the presence of evil and overlook the presence of good in our world.” The Archbishop noted that in the Gospel, there is mention of the power of evil but immediately afterwards Jesus proclaims that his message is about ‘Good News from God’.
“The project of Jesus is about Good News. We will not witness to Good News if we become trapped in a morbid preoccupation with evil,” Dr Martin warned. He said the project of Jesus is always a project of love. “We must combat evil with love in the knowledge that the Good News of God can triumph where our human means seem doomed to failure.”
While “Lent is a time of penance,” it is not a time where sadness and despondency dominates.
The Archbishop stressed that faith in Jesus is not simply “a book of rules”.
“It is a path of life that is shared with those who profess the same faith, share the same spiritual nourishment in word and sacrament and live the same life of Christian love.”