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April 15, 2018

For centuries the butterfly has been a symbol of Easter; the stubby little caterpillar reborn in the cocoon as a majestic butterfly is nature’s parable of the Easter mystery.  Newness of life –that is the message of Easter.  It comes in the spring of the year when nature begins to burst forth anew.  The resurrection is the major statement about life.

Christ’s emergence from the tomb is important for us.  Christians live a life of resurrection every day.  That life somehow the “cradle Catholics” don’t appreciate much.  Some may say, “I’m Catholic; I was born Catholic; I celebrate Easter every year, what would make it different this year? ===== But if you have a chance to work with new comers in the RCIA program, you would have experienced the effects of the new life in the Risen Christ.  Every year the Universal Church welcomes thousands of adults through baptism or receives the already baptized from other churches into the new life of the Catholic Church.  While working with them, I witness their response to an inexplicable call of God at the hands of our local community.  They discern and welcome God’s invitation to embrace new life in the Catholic Christian community and thus serve the mission of the Risen Christ in the world.  Their conversion tells us that God is still at work among his people.

Conversion is a turning around.   In a variety of ways, the individual encounters a transformation of values that empowers that individual to turn from what is inauthentic to embrace the truly authentic.  In religious terms, conversion is the surrender of oneself to the all-loving God, who calls us to fullness of life.  It is God asking us to give what we thought we could not give.  Authentic conversion is transformative.  Not only does it result in a radical change in the individual, but it informs and affects every dimension of the individual’s life.  Furthermore, there is a qualitative change in the individual’s manner of life that rings true.

Thank you, the new Catholics in our community, Herminia and Katherine. Your conversion makes us think about our own Catholic faith.  Not only do you need conversion.  We too, the “cradle Catholics,” need a personal conversion more than anyone else.