Prepare to Be Baptized Series
Reflection on Scripture is part of the adult catechumenal process from the beginning, but during Lent and this time of “intense preparation” for baptism or its affirmation, that reflection is intended to draw the catechumens more deeply into relationship with Jesus. The gospels readings from Series A of the lectionary are ideal texts for such reflection at the weekly gatherings of catechumens. The gospel readings for Sundays 2 through 5 in Lent are all from John, and in each one Jesus has a transformative encounter with someone:
- To Nicodemus, struggling to understand what it means to be “born from above” in order to enter the kingdom, Jesus assures him of God’s love for the whole world.
- To the woman at the well, seeking forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration with her community, Jesus offers himself as living water that will quench her deepest needs.
- To the man born blind, begging for daily sustenance, Jesus gives healing that transforms his life.
- To Martha, mourning at the tomb of her brother Lazarus, Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
These narratives first call the catechumens to reflect on how the encounter with Jesus changes the biblical person—what each one does, what each one believes; the stories then invite the catechumens to reflect on their encounters with Jesus for the past weeks and months in the catechumenal process. How has their relationship with Jesus deepened through study of God’s Word, worship with this community of faith, praying with and for others in the community?
With the Evangelist, we pray that “these things are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
About the image: St. Jerome is shown working on his translation of the Bible into the vernacular of the western Roman Empire (Latin).
Artist: Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Title: Saint Jerome
Medium: Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome
Caravaggio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons