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KENINGAU – Assembling publicly for the first time, 495 candidates made their intention known to the Church and the Church, carrying out its apostolic mission, assisted in their ‘rite of passage’ to becoming the “Elect” of God at the Rite of Election celebrated during the Eucharistic Celebration at St Francis Xavier Cathedral here on 14 Feb 2016.
Twelve representatives from the 12 zones which come under the care of the cathedral parish stepped up to the altar to present their “Book of the Elect” to the presiding celebrant, Bishop Cornelius Piong.
The bishop then announced his acceptance of the godparents’ testimonies, received the names of the catechumens, and declared the catechumens to be ‘the Elect’ of God, chosen for baptism.
They would enter into the Stage of Purification and Enlightenment to prepare themselves to enter the life of God in the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation.
In his homily, the prelate explained that no one is spared from temptations and trials, from being tempted through our unfaithfulness and unwillingness to take up our responsibility. Temptation is not a sin in itself, but becomes a sin if we act on the temptation which comes from the devil.
According to the prelate, the devil lives to destroy mankind and to oppose God’s will. But there is good in temptation in that it makes us aware of how faithful we are in living out the commandments of God. Without temptation, we would not discover how far our faith is, and to learn to rise up after each fall to improve ourselves.
“Don’t think that with baptism everything is solved. Baptism is only the beginning of following Jesus,” warned the prelate as he reminded the catechumens to always remember that they have made a very personal decision to be baptised and not as a fad to follow others.
He urged them to continue to unite themselves with Jesus through prayer, reading and reflection of the Word of God, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the devotion of the Holy Hour, Eucharistic Celebration, as well as living the Sacraments of the Church.
Bishop Piong concluded with the warning that we should not be proud if we have overcome temptations because the devil never gives up for the Gospel points out that he would wait for another opportunity to tempt again.
The prelate urged all to hold on to, and lean on, and be strengthened by Jesus alone. – Aldrin Benedict