From the Associate Pastor
If you don’t go to the 10:00 AM Mass, you probably miss this special rite called “Scrutinies”. When a parish has people in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program who will be baptized on Easter Vigil, they will go through this rite on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent. When it’s celebrated at Mass, readings from Year A are read (our Sunday readings have three cycles: A, B, and C; we are currently in Year C). They are some of the most beloved readings from the Gospel: The Samaritan Woman, The Healing of the Man Born Blind, and The Rising of Lazarus.
So, what are “scrutinies”? According to the ritual book, the purpose of each of the scrutinies is “to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect” and “to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good” (RCIA, 141). The true pastoral sense of this two-fold act of uncovering and strengthening is emphasized in the next sentence of 141: “For the scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ.”
At its core, the scrutinies are not about the sinfulness of the elect but about the overwhelming grace of God in Christ. The exorcisms, which are a part in the scrutinies, are not fear-laden bouts with Satan but are grace-filled encounters with the healing power of the Spirit.
If you attend a Mass with a scrutiny, you are not just a passive participant watching this unfold. We who have been baptized have an important role to play. Led by the priest celebrant, we are to pray for all the elect (those to be baptized) so that God frees them from the power of evil and fills them with faith, hope, and charity. For those of you who don’t go to that Mass, I invite you to still pray for all our elect: Jesus and Jenny Melendrez, Je Le, Breona Paz, Kassandra Bautista, Jocelyn Hernandez, Mia Jimenez, Miley Mota, Jonathan Ramirez, Kayleen Sablan, and Kalanikoaia Tolentino.
Peace and all good, Fr. Sam Nasada, OFM, Associate Pastor
P.S. If you or someone you know is interested in formally joining the Catholic Church, please contact Mary Dorso, our RCIA Director at 760-721-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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