Rite of Election

By Linda Edward

March 2, 2020

KOTA KINABALU – Archbishop of KK Archdiocese said it is time for the catechumens to make a decision about accepting Jesus and whether to follow His way.

Archbishop John Wong was speaking to 789 catechumens of the Archdiocese at the Rite of Election, Mar 1, at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

“After one year of searching and discerning, I hope and pray that you know who Jesus is for you,” he said. If the catechumens confessed that they know Him, the prelate said that they would also abide His Word. “If you know Him, you will also commit yourself to everything He says to you,” he emphasized.

Expounding on the Gospel appropriate to Lent time, which focused on the three temptations faced by Jesus in the desert, the Archbishop brought the catechumens to see the power of the Word of God in their daily living.

“The whole Bible is the Word of God. But how often do we live every word that He spoke to us? There are certain words that we find very easy to follow and some that we find we are not ready to accept or follow.

“But listen again to what He says to you “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”, he urged.

In the face of life challenges and difficulties, he said that they are asked to trust in God. “No matter what situations or environment you are in, no matter what happens to you, your family, community or parish, you are asked to trust Him.

“Because God has the best plan for each one of us,” He warns “You must not put the Lord, your God, to the test”, but instead, “you must trust Him all the time, all the way.”

He continued, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone. Ask yourself how many little gods you have in your life? Your handphone, computer, material things that you possess, money, even your job, husband, wife and children.

“The Word says, “You must love God with all your heart, mind and strength”, then only love your neighbour as yourself. Unless you know how to love God with the love that you receive from Him, then only you know how to love your neighbor and yourself,” underlined the prelate.

This year 95 per cent of the catechumens were from the Bahasa-speaking groups. English and Chinese made up the rest. This year also saw St Peter Claver Ranau topping the list with 109 catechumens, closely followed by Sacred Heart Cathedral with103. Young parishes of Kiulu and Inobong sent more than 10 catechumens this year.

For pastoral reason, the Church of Blessed Sacrament Labuan held a separate Rite for her 51 catechumens.

At the Rite of Election, the Archbishop accepted the Book of the Elect handed by the catechetical coordinators of each parish as an outward expression of the election and admission of catechumens to the Catholic Church, who were now called the ‘Elects’.

With that, the final commitment of the candidates to their initiation into the Catholic Church, leading to the reception of the Sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist at Easter, was completed.

Flora Mah Yen Yun, 20, “believes” in God but does not know Him. “When I see my cousin (a Catholic), she is a well-behaved lady and I admire how they pray.”

Mah added “I felt in my heart that not having a church and prayer life may be the reason why I felt lacking in life. So, I opened my heart last year and registered for RCIA at St Theresa parish.”

She revealed “After my Easter baptism, I want to deepen my knowledge and faith in God. I hope to persevere even though it seems kind of tough.”

Artini Saimin, 32, from Kg Mangkalua, said trials in family life prompted her to find God and to seek peace in the church. She confided her problems to close friends who brought her to church services.

“Through their support, I gain strength. I attend Mass even though I could not receive the Holy Communion. But it is there that I find peace.” said Saimin.

“Throughout one year in the RCIA journey, I have learnt a lot and have deepened my knowledge about the Catholic Church. My confidence in Jesus as my saviour has increased,” shared Saimin as she brightened up with hope after being made an Elect.