Week 12, Friday. Solemnity: Saints Peter and Paul: Apostles. Evangelizing Thought of the Day

DAILY SEQUENTIAL EXCERPTS from The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith – Instrumentum Laboris:

18. The Christian faith is not simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition. The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ. Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions which lead to this encounter between the person and Jesus Christ. The goal of all evangelization is to create the possibility for this encounter, which is, at one and the same time, intimate, personal, public and communal. Pope Benedict XVI stated: "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. [...] Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere 'command'; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us."[19] In the Christian faith, the encounter with Christ and the relationship with him takes place "in accordance to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3, 4). The Church is formed precisely through the grace of this relationship.
19. This encounter with Jesus, through his Spirit, is the Father's great gift to humanity. We are prepared for this encounter through the action of grace in us. In such an encounter, we feel an attraction which leads to our transformation, causing us to see new dimensions to who we are and making us partakers of divine life (cf. 2 Pt 1:4). After this encounter, everything is different as a result of metanoia, that is, the state of conversion strongly urged by Jesus himself (cf. Mk 1:15). In a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, faith takes the form of a relationship with him and in remembrance of him, especially in the Eucharist and the Word of God, and creates in us the mind of Christ, through the Spirit, a mentality which makes us recognize our brothers and sisters, gathered by the Spirit in his Church, and, in turn, see ourselves as witnesses and heralds of this Gospel. This encounter equips us to do new things and witness to the transformation of our lives in the works of conversion as announced by the prophets (cf. Jer 3:6 ff; Ez 36:24-36). (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 1,” paragraphs 18 and 19)

For the LORD takes delight in his people; He crowns the poor with salvation. Let the faithful exult in glory, and rejoice as they take their rest. (Psalm 149: 5-6, “Morning Prayer,” Liturgy of the Hours).

Grant, we pray, O Lord our God,
that we may be sustained by the intercession of the
blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,
that, as through them You gave Your Church
the foundations of her heavenly office,
so through them You may help her to eternal salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Chapter 1 of the Instrumentum Laboris marks a development from the Lineamenta. In the Lineamenta, Chapter 1 addressed the factors and concerns of present culture calling for this New Evangelization. The Instrumentum Laboris, which has briefly addressed the need for the New Evangelization in the “Introduction,” clearly shifts the focus in its first chapter to the Person Jesus Christ.

Months ago, I was invited to a parish to offer a series of 3 presentations on the Lineamenta and how the New Evangelization might impact Catholic Christian living. I recall 1 person, who seemed uncomfortable with much of what I was presenting from the Lineamenta, standing up and saying: “This talk is not Catholic.” When I inquired what aspect(s) of the presentation was not Catholic, the person responded, “All this talk of encounter, person and relationship. Catholic is about going to Church on Sunday and that’s it!” There was silence in the hall and the person left.

Admittedly, that was an extreme response and I had hoped for an opportunity to talk with the person afterwards. It did get me thinking, though, that some are finding this ‘language’ somewhat new and challenging. Some are finding the ‘language’ a welcomed development, which technically is not a development. Such has been part of the Church’s rich Tradition that certainly has application today.


  • Has religious education missed the fact that “The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ”?
  • How does the fact that “The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ” challenge the living of the Faith today?

1 comment:

  1. nice post, Christianity aas we know it was limited in the four corners of the Church, and some folks are scandalized now when they see religious, priests and nuns in rallies, public fora and out in the "world" proclaiming the values of the kingdom. Partly to blame is the Church, its history went into defensive after Trent and until now, when we say Catholicism - we need to "know" the Faith more than what it means to follow Jesus. Thanks to Vatican II, we're asked again to go back to the roots of our Faith, namely discipleship in the footsteps of the human Jesus but implicitly knowing His divine nature as well.

    Thanks for this very relevant post...i hope that more is coming, God bless you :)