Week 12, Saturday.

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

20. This first chapter gives particular attention to this fundamental aspect of evangelization, because the responses to the Lineamenta reported a need to restate the core of the Christian faith which is unknown by many Christians. Consequently, the theological foundation of the new evangelization should not be overlooked, but forcefully and authentically stated, so as to give energy and a proper framework to the Church's evangelizing activity.
20, continued. The new evangelization must initially be seen as an opportunity to gauge the faithfulness of Christians to the mandate received from Jesus Christ. The new evangelization is also an auspicious occasion (cf. 2 Cor 6:2) to return, as an individual Christian and a community, to drink from the source of our faith, and so become more disposed to undertake the work of evangelization and testimony. Indeed, before becoming action, evangelization and testimony are two states-of-mind which, as fruits of a faith in a continual state of purification and conversion, result in our lives from an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Good News of God to humanity. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 1,” paragraph 20)

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name through all the earth! Your majesty is set above the heavens. From the mouths of children and of babes you fashioned praise to foil your enemy, to silence the foe and the rebel. (Psalm 149:5-6, Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer).

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. Amen.

The state of Faith is bluntly expressed: “a need to restate the core of the Christian faith which is unknown by many Christians.” Naturally the question that arises, ‘what is the core of the Christian Faith?’ Wrong question! The proper question is ‘WHO is the core of the Christian Faith?’ Refer to yesterday’s citation of paragraph 19: the action of grace prepares us to be attracted to Jesus and the encounter with Him sparks metanoia – that radical transformation of mind, heart and body according to the selfless, sacrificial life of Jesus Christ. (As a short aside, the Instrumentum Laboris describes metanoia as “the state of conversion strongly urged by Jesus himself.” Metanoia in Mark 1:15 is not “strongly urged,” it is commanded by Jesus because “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Click here to read an earlier entry describing the Kingdom of God and click here to read an earlier entry describing metanoia.)

Hence, if the core of Christian Faith is a Person (Jesus Christ), and this Person draws each and all into an encounter that sparks metanoia, is this not then the ‘plan’ for Christian living? The difficulty is that the vast majority of Christians have been taught ABOUT Jesus, and never encountered him. Divine Revelation is quite clear – meeting the Person Jesus and permitting metanoia to occur, life - by definition - becomes different. One thinks differently. One speaks differently. One acts differently – and, all of these ‘different actions’ are first and foremost the result of an encounter, not study, reading or education. Study, reading, and education are good, but if the encounter has not led to a change of heart, no amount of study, reading or education will form a person in the Person Jesus Christ.

  • How can (or does) the Church provide an environment to encounter Jesus on the global, diocesan and parish level?
  • How does the core of Christian Faith - encounter the Person Jesus leading to metanoia - address the present state of Christian living?

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