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Archbishop’s March prayer intention: For those entering the Church, that their hearts be open to a divine encounter

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila’s prayer intention for March is “For those who will be entering the Church at Easter, that their hearts may be open to a deep encounter with the Divine Mysteries.”

Brothers and sisters: “What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not! How can we who died to sin yet live in it? Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Rom. 6; 1-4) 

Spring is a time of new life; trees are beautified with new leaves and branches, meadows turn green with various plants and colorful flowers, and the cold, dry winter dies off. Even the birds in the sky delight us with their wonderful melodies. All of this is beautiful, almost poetic because it is the work of a Creator God who constantly renews it, bringing joy to our hearts and filling us with happiness. 

During spring, we also celebrate Easter every year, marking the new life that Jesus Christ came to bring us. Just like every year, the Church welcomes new members in the church, people who have been called and prepared to enter the life of Christ through the door of faith, conversion, and the sacraments of Christian initiation. The Church receives them with the joy of Easter; the joy experienced with the new life that only Jesus Christ can offer to those who open wide the doors of their hearts in the Easter celebration. 

Jesus Christ takes the initiative, knocking on the door of each heart, asking us to let Him in. Through a long process of preparation and a change of mindset via catechesis that enlightens reason and understanding, our brothers and sisters finally open their hearts to receive God, the source of true happiness. 

Once they have passed through the purification of their past life through baptism, the person becomes a living temple of God, with all its treasures and divine mysteries. Then, new life blossoms to give glory to God the Father. The Holy Spirit acts so that the person may have a profound personal encounter with the Risen Christ, transforming their previous life as He gradually reveals the mysteries of his kingdom. 

Just as trees, meadows, and forests transform, filling everything with happiness, when we experience the liturgy of Easter, we realize that God loves us deeply and wants to demonstrate it with a personal encounter that changes the life of any human being, regardless of their sinful past and regardless of whether they feel worthy of this new life. Just as trees reject their old leaves and branches to receive new ones in spring, our new members entering Christian life at Easter must renounce the slavery of sin and all the dead works of sin to receive the new life with all its divine mysteries. 

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For our new catechumens, know that you will not embark on this new life alone; the prayer and support of the Church are crucial, and she will always accompany you in the new journey of faith. The archbishop invites all the faithful to join him in prayer throughout March, “For those who will be entering the Church at Easter, that their hearts may be open to a deep encounter with the Divine Mysteries.” May our Lord Jesus Christ pour abundant graces upon each of those who will become new members of the Catholic Church by the grace of God. Our hope and desire are that their lives may be like the most beautiful blooming meadows in spring, full of happiness from the newness of life. For the glory of God, the Father! 

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