Catechetical Sunday. It comes every year on the third Sunday of September. Some of us begin our faith formation classes on this day, some of us may have already begun classes, some of us wait just a few more weeks to relish those last fleeting days of summer.
Today, as I write this reflection, it is Thursday, September 12. We had our first meeting of catechetical leaders of the year for our region in the diocese of Syracuse. What you need to understand about me is that I NEVER volunteer to lead prayer at one of these meetings. This feeling changed drastically when, through a grant offered by our diocese, I was able to come to Saint John’s University and learn about the Saint John’s Bible and the process of Visio Divina. This was a life changing event for me and I decided to step forward and volunteer to do our prayer.
I thought about doing a reflection based on the gospel for the weekend but the Holy Spirit was tugging me in another direction. I finally decided to use the “Call of the Disciples” Illumination based on John 1:35-42 from Seeing the Word.
What better gospel to focus on! We all hope that our catechists—new and old—feel that they are called to this ministry. On showing the Illumination during the reading of the scripture (after assuring the participants that there were no right or wrong answers, to just allow the Spirit to guide them in what they saw) they were amazed at what they did see in the illumination. The first use of Visio Divina was a success in the Syracuse Diocese!
Two gospel passages have been ruminating in my heart and mind this year. The first is Peter’s confession of faith in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom should we go?” The other is found in this gospel, “Come and see.” Don’t we want all those that we encounter in Faith Formation to “Come and see?”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has titled this Catechetical Sunday as “Open the Door of Faith.” Let us add, “Come and see” to this. We can always open the door but if we don’t cross the threshold what good is the open door?
Come and see!
Patricia Barnett serves as Director of Faith Formation and RCIA Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Church and St. Stephen the King Church in Oswego, New York. She participated in the annual Praying With Imagination retreat held in Collegeville in July.