After the approval of the document on the Liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the first one to be considered and voted on at Vatican II (approved by the Council Bishops 2,147 to 4 in December 1963,) Pope Paul VI empowered various theologians to put the teachings of the Council into the use of the Church. For Liturgy, that meant for our Sunday Masses. One important committee was that which arranged the Sunday Readings. Before Vatican II we heard the same readings on the same Sunday year after year. Since the Council called for a greater appreciation of Scripture, the Sunday readings would be heard over a three-year cycle (daily readings, Monday through Saturday would be over a two-year cycle.) In effect, we are hearing about three times as many readings now than our parents and grandparents did.
After choosing the best readings for Easter and Christmas they moved to the next most important celebration, which was the season of Lent, Year A. In choosing these readings they also took upon themselves the task of seeing and proclaiming Lent as a short course in fundamental Christianity. Today, we begin that course. These readings are of such importance that the Church says they may be used year after year, every year. The Bishops were also bringing to life the Catechumenate process which had not been seen for a thousand years. These Year A Readings are at the heart of the Catechumenate as we have come to know it over the last 50 years. It was my privilege to introduce the RCIA here at St. Mary 40 years ago (one young man who entered the Church at Easter 1984 was Trent Watts. He later became a priest of our Diocese and died while serving as Pastor at St. Therese in Wrightsville Beach.) There is an old saying, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi,” The Law of Praying, the Law of
Believing. May this Lent be a time of good prayer and ever-growing faith.