From the Pastor – 4th Sunday of Lent – March 26, 2017

From the Pastor


4th Sunday of Lent


Laetare Sunday


March 26, 2017




Today, most Roman Catholic Churches hold a special rite for adults who will be baptized, confirmed and receive First Eucharist at Easter: The Second Scrutiny. Since this Rite takes place at only one Mass, I’ll reflect on the orations prayed at that Mass so all may be united in prayer for our Elect, Steven Heller, sponsored by
Stephany Heller
and our Candidates: Richard Coury, sponsored by Angie Walko, and Attila Horvath, sponsored by
David Geisler
. Here are the orations for The Second Scrutiny
– used only at our 9:30 Mass today.


Collect – The Second Scrutiny


Almighty ever-living God,

give to your Church an increase in spiritual joy,

so that those once born of earth

may be reborn as citizens of heaven.

Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.


When this question is asked by our fundamentalist brothers and sisters in Christ, most Catholics have no idea how to reply. For yes; Catholic Christians are reborn in Baptism, but that’s only the first major step. We also need to be rewashed of any serious sins in the Sacrament
– and nourished by the Sacrament
Eucharist, for as Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” [John 6:53]
So being reborn merely sets us on the right course; and unless we do more, we could get … lost at sea!


For after being fully initiated into the Church by these three Sacraments
, as our Elect will be at Easter, we must also live by the Commandments and Gospel values, and put our faith into action, as the next orations note. For whoever does NOT continue on their faith journey after Baptism is like a stillborn child. That is why, as the Catholic Church teaches, we must consider the totality of God’s revealed word in Scripture, its ‘educated explanations’ by the theological scholars, and its official interpretation by the Magisterium of the Church, the Bishops, who sort through and reflect on all these things … so they can offer to us orthodox, inerrant, and accurate biblically based teachings.

Prayer over the Offerings – The Second Scrutiny


We place before you with joy these offerings,

which bring eternal remedy, O Lord,

praying that we may both faithfully revere them

and present them to you, as is fitting,

for those who seek salvation.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


There are no ‘done deals’ when it comes to our salvation, for as the Apostle said, “faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” [James 2:17]
We do not earn salvation by our
works; it is God’s free gift. However, we must accept and use, enhance and deepen God’s grace. As I said above, God offers us all the ‘helps’ we need, as one oration puts it, to put our faith into action. God also gives us what this oration calls an ‘eternal remedy’
– another theological notion that’s often misunderstood by fundamentalists.


While we are saved “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once
[Hebrews 10:10]

His Sacrifice is renewed and made present for us at every holy Mass. For when He said “Do this in remembrance of me” [Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24] He used terms that, as Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel, The Bread of Life Discourse states, shows He was NOT speaking figuratively or symbolically, but literally … so He truly is our ‘eternal remedy’ until He comes again! That’s why Eucharist, not Baptism
or Confirmation, is the climax for the Elect and for us.


Prayer after Communion – The Second Scrutiny


Sustain your family always in your kindness,

O Lord, we pray, correct them, set them in order, graciously protect them under your rule,

and in your unfailing goodness

direct them along the way of salvation.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


This oration ‘likens’ God to a trainer who offers a full regimen of sacramental, spiritual exercises for our soul’s wellbeing. As our RCIA Elect
and Candidates
learn the ‘disciplines’ by which God ‘trains’ us, may we be good examples by keeping the disciplines of Lent and confessing our sins at our Lenten Penance Service: April 5 at 7:30 pm.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS