RCIA 142-143: True Repentance


The full experience of the Scrutinies, including the preparation and liturgical celebration is the catechesis for the newcomers’ future observance of the sacrament of Penance.

142. Because they are asking for the three sacraments of initiation, the elect must have the intention of achieving an intimate knowledge of Christ and his Church, and they are expected particularly to progress  in genuine self-knowledge through serious examination of their lives and true repentance.

143. In order to inspire in the elect a desire for purification and redemption by Christ, three scrutinies are celebrated. By this means, first of all, the elect are instructed gradually about the mystery of sin, from which the whole world and every person longs to be delivered and thus saved from its present and future consequences. Second, their spirit is filled with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water (gospel of the Samaritan woman in the first scrutiny), the light of the world (gospel of the man born blind in the second scrutiny), the resurrection and the life (gospel of Lazarus in the third scrutiny). From the first to the final scrutiny the elect should progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation.

The Church recognizes the importance of the stories in the fourth, ninth, and eleventh chapters of John’s gospel. These Scriptures can assist in the cultivation of an awareness of sin, as well as introduce the elect to these dimensions of Jesus Christ. Are three scrutinies enough to cultivate a lifetime practice?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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