Reflections on Holy Week by the Newly Initiated

by Kathy Kuczka

Throughout the Easter season, our newly initiated adults have been engaged in the fourth period of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults called mystagogy, a Greek word meaning “to savor the mysteries.”  Our newly initiated Catholics, called neophytes, or newly planted, have been reflecting on their journey of faith, especially on what they experienced during the rituals celebrated during Holy Week.  Here are some of their reflections:

Question: What liturgical/ritual moment stood out for you?

  • I hadn’t picked up a palm since childhood. To see the table of palms, the red vestments blowing in the wind was so beautiful and brought back many memories.
  • The washing of feet was humbling. This is about serving others.
  • The reverence shown by the prostration at the start of the liturgy on Good Friday.
  • Deacon Tom’s chanting of the intercessions on Good Friday made me cry.
  • Watching everyone venerate the cross, each in their own way.
  • My baptism – I felt lighter, taller, like I wasn’t carrying as much weight.
  • Watching others celebrate baptism – there is joy in this church!
  • When I was confirmed. There was something about the oil (Sacred Chrism).
  • I really felt like I received the Holy Spirit.
  • Seeing my typically stoic mother in tears during my confirmation. She was so happy.
  • Receiving oil made me feel like Christ, the anointed one.
  • Being able to share communion with my wife.
  • To look around and see faces I knew and people I cared about was very special. It made it all the more special to be welcomed into the church with a community that I have come to recognize and appreciate.
  • All my senses were engaged. I was elevated to another place. That must be Christ.
  • All the smiling faces – I have a HUGE family now.

Question: How would you sum up your journey of conversion?

  • I’m finally who I was meant to be.
  • It’s not about me, but what God has done in us.
  • I sang the Gloria for four days!
  • I now know Jesus as a person.
  • I have a new sense of responsibility.
  • Love isn’t love until you give it away.

We give thanks to God for bringing forth new life at St. Thomas Aquinas.  We are grateful that God continues to call others into relationship with God’s very self and therefore, with the community of believers.

Easter is a good time to reflect on what a difference our own journey of faith has made in our lives, and then to share it with others.  All of us, whether we have been Catholic for a long time or whether we are new Catholics, are sent forth to celebrate God’s new life with the world.