Week 12, Monday. Evangelizing Thought of the Day

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

4. Many responses stressed the urgency for all of us to consider how the Church today is responding to her fundamental call to evangelize and to assess her resources in meeting today's challenges and avoid any danger of a dispersion of energy or fragmented efforts. Many particular Churches (dioceses, eparchies, Churches sui juris) and various episcopal conferences and synods of the Eastern Churches have for the past several years evaluated their programmes in proclaiming and witnessing to the faith. The responses provided an impressive list of initiatives undertaken by various ecclesial realities. Over the last ten years, a number of particular Churches have documented and planned pastoral projects on evangelization and its renewal. Programmes on the diocesan, national and continental levels have been designed to raise awareness and offer support. Training centres were also created for Christians called to engage in these projects.
5. Given the considerable number of initiatives and their reported positive and negative aspects — since not all the initiatives undertaken have produced the desired results — the convocation of the Synod is seen as a timely opportunity for the entire Catholic Church to listen, discern and, above all, give a unified response to what we are called to do. Hopefully, the upcoming synodal assembly will be an event to energize Christian communities and, at the same time, provide concrete answers to the many questions facing the Church today and the resources available in her evangelizing activity. The Synod is expected to be not only a source of encouragement but also the place to compare experiences and share observations on situations and approaches for action. Instrumentum Laboris, “Introduction,” paragraphs 4 and 5

Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us. (Psalm 60:7, Week 12, Monday Mass).

Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love Your Holy Name,
for You never deprive of Your guidance
those You set firm on the foundation of Your love.
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.

The phrase “Many responses” or phrases of similar words abound in the text of the Instrumentum Laboris giving clear evidence that much in this document has been culled from responses sent to Rome since the emergence of the Lineamenta in March 2011. Such should assist all members of the Church to come to a greater awareness of each person’s role in the urgent work of the New Evangelization. None of us in the Church can afford the luxury of being a spectator because “so-and-so,” who always volunteers for things in the parish, will take care of this as well.

Paragraph 5 raises another important point for the work of the New Evangelization. How unified are the efforts of the Church (global, diocesan, parish) in the Mission Jesus has entrusted to her? While much great work is done on so many levels in the Church, the Instrumentum Laboris is raising a question that perhaps we need to ask ourselves – in the light of prayer and fasting – who are we as a Church? What is our essential reason for existence?

  • What ‘stake’ do I have in the work of the New Evangelization?
  • What can I concretely contribute to this mission?
  • Make a list of the activities of your parish.
  • Do all the actions of the parish express a single, unified purpose for being?
  • Do all the actions of the parish serve to bring people into communion with the Person, Jesus?

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