Sunday, March 23, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

This week, the catechumens (elect) throughout the church celebrate their first scrutiny. They take a close look at — scrutinize — their inner life and notice any things that are keeping them from following Christ completely. In this examination, they make the choice to tear out of their lives the obstacles to following Jesus Christ completely.

The gospel of the Samaritan woman at the well is the story that tells of a very deep and intimate conversation between herself and Jesus. Jesus sees the woman and her life fully. He reveals inner truths to her that convinces her that he is a prophet.

When she runs home to her townspeople, she shares her newly discovered faith: “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” Their initial curiosity turns into a convinced faith after they meet the Lord. Their own words will finally reveal their conviction: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Is this not the journey of every Christian? Do we not have to have an experience of Jesus Christ that goes beyond liking or loving his words, his teachings, his way of life? The woman of Samaria represents something inside each of us.

When we begin to recognize God’s love for us that accepts us as we are with all of the good and bad choices we have made, then we begin to know the Samaritan woman's experience. When who we are is more than what we have done — or not done — with our lives, we begin to appreciate this woman’s testimony. Jesus shows her that he understands her life. She experiences being known and accepted.

Today, our elect take a good look at their lives, and they open their lives fully to the Lord, as they admit their sins and recognize their obstacles to a full commitment of faith. This is an important part of the journey that invites us to become his true disciples.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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