The Kingdom of What’s Happening Next

Finding A Sign Of Hope In The Newly Baptized

They stood in front of the altar at the Easter Vigil, officially Catholic for all of twenty minutes, and they looked a mess. Two of them with hair plastered back, still wet from baptism. All five with an oil slick of chrism smeared on their foreheads, fragrant with the scent of confirmation. They were about to taste the Eucharist for the first time, the final step of their initiation into our community. A damp, greasy, messy-looking crew, these brand-new Catholics...and the most welcome and restorative image of hope I had seen in a very long time.

Why join us now? Why would someone want to hitch her wagon to Catholicism at a time of such institutional dimness? You would think that anyone capable of reading a headline or listening to the five o’clock news would run away from any invitation to sign up for envelopes. Yet here they were—two women, three men, all of them parents—stepping aboard the very ship from which so many have disembarked. It made no sense.

Maybe that’s why Christian initiation takes place during the Easter Triduum. At their best, these three wonderful days with their breathtaking liturgies act like an icon, giving us a glimpse into a Kingdom that will come. It’s a Kingdom of surprises, of the...

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About the Author

Fr. Nonomen (a pseudonym) is the pastor of a suburban parish. He has been a priest for more than twenty years.