If you are planning a Rite of Acceptance for the fall, consider scheduling it on September 16, 2012. That’s the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), and the readings are especially appropriate.
The first reading is Isaiah 50:5-9, which begins: “The Lord GOD opens my ear that I may hear.” The early church referred to the catechumens as “hearers,” because their job during their time in the catechumenate was to not just listen to, but to hear God’s word.
The gospel is Mark 8:27-35, in which Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” He also describes his suffering, death, and resurrection, which is the “gospel” the inquirers will be asked to accept before they are consecrated as catechumens (see RCIA 52).
At the conclusion of the gospel, Jesus says:
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.
A flexible presider can adapt Jesus’ words to become the text for the “Candidates’ First Acceptance of the Gospel.” Paragraph 52 allows for such adaptation.
So, for example, assume that in the dialogue at RCIA 50, the presider asks, “What do you ask of God and God’s church?”
Then assume one of the candidates replies, “I ask for peace and hope in my life.”
The presider might enfold his hands and the candidate’s around the processional cross and say:
This is true peace and hope: to deny yourself and take up the cross of Christ. Christ has been truly raised from the dead and called all people to himself. If you wish to have peace and hope in your life, you much lose your life for his sake. For Christ tells us, “Whoever loses his life for the sake of the gospel will save it.”
Are you ready, with God’s help, to follow the way of the Cross to eternal peace and hope?
And then proceed with the rest of the rite as given in the ritual text.
What do you think? Are there other Sundays this fall that have appropriate readings for the Rite of Acceptance? Click on the comments link and share your thoughts.
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