Week 14, Tuesday. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

39. What is so painstakingly described in the beginning of the Church has sometimes reoccurred in her history. On many occasions, a weakening of ferver in one's relationship with Christ has adversely affected the caliber of the life of faith and the experience of participating in the Trinitarian life, which is bound to it. For this reason, we cannot forget that the proclamation of the Gospel is primarily a spiritual matter. The need to transmit the faith, which is essentially an ecclesial, communal event and not singly or done alone, should not result from seeking effective communication strategies or in choosing a certain group of recipients — for example, young people — but must look to who is entrusted with this spiritual work. The Church must question herself in this matter. This allows the problem to be approached not in an extrinsic manner but from within, involving the entire life and being of the Church. Many particular Churches request that the Synod determine whether the lack of effects in evangelization today, as well as in catechesis in modern times, is primarily the result of ecclesial and spiritual factors. This concerns the Church's ability to live as a real community, as a true brotherhood and as a Living Body and not simply a human establishment.
40. In knowing how to maintain the fundamental spiritual character of evangelization, the Church can allow herself to be formed by the action of the Holy Spirit and be conformed to Christ Crucified, who reveals to the world the face of the love of God and communion with him. In so doing, she can become more aware of her vocation as Ecclesia Mater by begetting children for the Lord in transmitting the faith and teaching a love which nurtures her children. At the same time, she fulfills her responsibility to proclaim and bear witness to this Revelation of God and gather her people scattered throughout the world, thereby fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy which the Church Fathers understood as addressed to her, "Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; hold not back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities" (Is 54:2, 3 ). (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 1,” paragraph 39 and 40)

The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 115:9, Mass).

O God, Who in the abasement of Your Son
have raised up a fallen world,
fill Your faithful with holy joy,
for on those You have rescued from slavery to sin
You bestow eternal gladness.
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.

Today’s 2 paragraphs brings the section, “Evangelization and Church Renewal,” to a close. Some points already surfaced in the Instrumentum Laboris continue to be addressed, notably the fervor “in one’s relationship with Christ.” The document notes the “proclamation of the Gospel is primarily a spiritual matter” and “essentially an ecclesial, communal event.” In other words, there is something different about the Gospel that does not fit into a secular, materialistic, minimalistic or God-on-my-terms approach to Christian living. The remedy in the proclamation of the Gospel lies not in targeting particular groups in the parish but pastoral action that is always about the entire Body of Christ, “healed of all divisions.”

  • How does your parish engage the proclamation of the Gospel: to all or to targeted groups within the parish?
  • What is the danger of ‘the sports groups Mass on Sunday,’ ‘the sodality Mass on Sunday,’ or any other group?

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