Week 15, Saturday. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

57. The fourth sector is civic life. From the time of the Second Vatican Council to the present, the changes which have occurred in this sector can rightly be called momentous. The division of the western world into two blocks ended with the fall of the Communist ideology, leading to religious freedom and the possibility of reorganizing the Churches of ancient origin. The emergence on the world stage of new economic, political and religious actors from the Islamic and Asian worlds has created an entirely new and unknown situation, rich in potential, but fraught with dangers and new temptations for dominion and power. Many responses have highlighted a variety of urgent situations in this sector, namely, a commitment to peace; the development and liberation of peoples; better international regulation and interaction of national governments; the search for possible areas of listening, coexistence, dialogue and collaboration between different cultures and religions; the defence of human rights and peoples, especially minorities; the promotion of the most vulnerable; and the integrity of creation and a commitment to the future of our planet. Various particular Churches are engaged in dealing with these issues, which are being diligently pursued and fostered in the daily life of our communities.
58. The fifth sector is scientific research and technology. We live in an age that still marvels at the wonders of the continuing achievements which result from research in these fields. Each day, we have the possibility of experiencing the benefits of these advances and are increasingly becoming dependent upon them. Inherent in the many positive aspects is the danger of excessive expectations and manipulation. Today, science and technology run the risk of becoming the new idols of the present. In a digitalized and globalized world, science can easily become "our new religion". New forms of gnosis are arising which make technology a form of wisdom where an almost magical approach to life leads to concepts of "knowing" and "meaning", as witnessed in the rise of new cults, which exploit the religious practices of healing, readily followed by people, and are structured as religions promising prosperity and instant gratification. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 2: Time for a New Evangelization,” paragraph 57-58)

Do not forget the poor, O Lord! (Psalm 10:12, Mass).

O God, Who show the light of Your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the Name of Christ
and to strive after all that does It honor.
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.

Changes that are too numerous to catalog and changes that are described as momentous characterize the Instrumentum Laboris’ treatment of the fourth sector: civic life. It is hard to keep abreast of all the developments occurring in societies throughout the word. Yet if that were not enough, the changes occurring in civil life bring a host of opportunities, challenges and questions that border on the infinite and, as such, risk imposing such an enormity on the human person that people may be tempted to avoid dealing with any challenge in the civic arena. This situation suggests that recapturing the dignity of the human person as created in the image and likeness of God is both urgent and key to address and to respond to any challenge in this sector as well as the technological sector.

  • How can the momentous changes in civic life preserve and enhance the dignity of the human person?
  • With the unprecedented growth in technology and its use, what steps need to be taken in each person's life to 'humanize' the digital revolution?

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