Week 13, Monday. Evangelization Thought of the Day

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

26. After Christ's death and resurrection, the missionary mandate given to the disciples by the Lord (cf. Mk 16:15) makes an explicit reference to proclaiming the Gospel to everyone, teaching them to observe everything he commanded (cf. Mt 28:20). St. Paul presents himself as "called to be an Apostle [...] set apart for the Gospel of God" (Rm 1:1). The Church's task is thus to bring about a traditio Evangelii, a proclamation and transmission of the Gospel, which is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith" (Rm 1:16) and which ultimately is identified with Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Cor 1:24). We know now that when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel, we must think of a living, effective Word, which brings about what is stated (cf. Heb 4:12; Is 55:10) and is a Person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became man. As in the earthly life of Jesus, the Church's evangelizing mission is properly the work of God and the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit at Pentecost makes the Apostles witnesses and prophets, confirming them in all they shared with Jesus and learned from him (cf. Acts 1:8; 2:17), instilling in them a serene courage which impels them to pass on to others their experience of Jesus and the hope that inspires them. The Spirit gives them the ability to witness to Jesus with parresia (cf. Acts 2:29), extending their activity from Jerusalem to all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
27. What the Church has lived from the very beginning, she continues to live today. By re-proposing these truths, Pope Paul VI recalled their contemporary character: "The command to the Twelve to go out and proclaim the Good News is also valid for all Christians, though in a different way [...] The Church knows this. [...] Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of his death and glorious resurrection." The Church exists in the world to continue Jesus' evangelizing mission, knowing well that in doing so she continues to share in divine life, because she is compelled by the Spirit to proclaim the Gospel in the world and to experience again within herself the presence of the Risen Christ, who brings her into communion with God the Father. Every action performed by the Church is never closed in upon itself but is always an act of evangelization, and, as such, an action that manifests the triune face of our God. The Acts of the Apostles records those actions most intimately involved in the Church's life: prayer, listening to the Word and the Apostles' teaching, a "lived" fraternal charity and the breaking of the bread (cf. Acts 2:42-46). All acquire their full meaning when they become an act of witness, a source of attraction and conversion, and a preaching and proclamation of the Gospel, by the whole Church and each baptized person. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 1,” paragraph 26 and 27)

The voice of the LORD upon the waters, the God of glory thunders; the LORD on the immensity of waters; the voice of the LORD full of power; the voice of the LORD full of splendor. (Psalm 29:3-4, Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer).

O God, Who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
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.

Once again the Instrumentum Laboris gives ample food for pondering and renewing the life of Faith in our midst. Paragraph 26 makes clear that when we approach Sacred Scripture and the Gospels especially, whether we are listening or reading the Sacred Text, the word of God is the Word of God, a living Person. We do study the words of the text diligently and this study must always have as its focus not the ink on a page but the Person, Jesus Christ – the Incarnate Word of God. This is why the present day disciples of Jesus, like the ones of previous eras, can preach Jesus boldly, confidently and with conviction (parresia).

  • How does the use of Sacred Scripture 'change' when one approaches it as the Living Word of God, the Incarnate Person, Jesus Christ?
  • How boldly do you witness to the beauty of Catholic Christianity? Are you confident (parresia) to respond charitably to inquiries about Catholic Christianty?

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