Saturday after Ash Wednesday
"Leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him"
You are catechumens, those who are preparing for baptism, disciples of the New Covenant and sharers in Christ's mysteries. Already - now by your call and soon also by grace - you have been made «a new heart and a new spirit» (Ez 18,31) to the joy of the dwellers in heaven. For if, according to the Gospel, the conversion of one sinner stirs up this joy (Lk 15,7), how much more will the salvation of so many souls not stir up the heavenly inhabitants to rejoicing?
You have undertaken a good, a most splendid journey: set yourselves to running the race of enthusiasm. The only Son of God is waiting ready to redeem you: «Come,» he says, «you who are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest» (Mt 11,28). You who labor under sin, bound with the shackles of your misdeeds, hear what the voice of one of the prophets says: «Wash, make yourselves clean, put away your misdeeds from before my eyes» (Is 1,16) that the choir of angels may cry to you: «Happy are they whose transgression is taken away, whose sin is remitted!» (Ps 32,1). You who have come precisely to light the lamps of faith let your hands be diligent in guarding the flame so that he who, on our most holy hill of Golgotha, opened up paradise to the malefactor through faith (Lk 23,43) may grant you to sing the wedding song.
If there is anyone here who is a slave of sin, let him prepare himself by means of baptismal faith for the new birth that will make a free man of him, one of the children of adoption. Let him forsake the lamentable slavery of his sins to win the blessed slavery of the Lord... By faith acquire the first fruits of the Holy Spirit» (2Cor 5,5) so that you can be received into everlasting dwellings. Come to the sacrament that will seal you with a view to making you intimates of our Lord.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem