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KOTA KINABALU (CS) – The Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu shared the joy of witnessing the election of 1,141 new catechumens at the liturgical rite of Election and Enrolment of Names at Sacred Heart Cathedral Feb 22, with a crowd of more than 2,000. The elects hailed from 20 parishes in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese, including Labuan, coming together with their godparents, and supported by their parish priest/assistant priest.
The Rite of Election is a second step in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. As the Elect of God, they will now enter into the Stage of Purification and Enlightenment until Easter vigil for final Initiation into Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
After reading of the Gospel, Archbishop John Wong said in his homily that each elect will be asked a lot of questions in which they have made their decision to answer ‘Yes’ to each question. He then asked the elects, “Discern about it, when you see the man hanging on the cross, do you really know and accept him as your Saviour and are you ready to follow him?”
Archbishop John explained the need of the Rite from the readings that everyone is created according to God’s image but because of sin, the image is distorted. Hence we need conversion and renewal, and come back to Jesus as our saviour so that through Him, our image would be restored to the original.
He further connected the Rite of Election with the Lenten season which he said is a gift from God to all humanity, “Lenten season is a time to pray and to renew our life. If we do not know who Christ is, then how do we pray and renew our life?”
The Gospel shows how prayer and life rooted in the Word of God would help us to fight the devil’s temptation. Archbishop continued, “Jesus himself is always praying and guided by the Word of God to fight temptation, we must follow him to do so.”
Thus the significance of the Rite of Election is to prepare a way for the Elects to join the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ. Looking at the importance of knowing, accepting and following Jesus, he invited the Elects and all present to ‘fall in love with Jesus’ and with the help of the Holy Spirit to continue falling in love with Him. Falling in love with Jesus is essentially thinking of Him, speaking of Him, and doing everything for Him all the time.
After signing of the Books of the Elect by the Archbishop and returning them back to the respective parishes, the whole assembly gathered at the parish hall for refreshments and fellowship. – Linda Edward