Week 17, Monday. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

70. In addition to mentioning some negative aspects, the responses to the Lineamenta also highlighted how the Christian experience has undoubtedly benefited from the emergence of these sectors. For example, many responses speak of the positive effects of the continuing migration process in the meeting and exchange of gifts among the particular Churches and in the ability to draw energy and vitality from the Christian faith of immigrant communities. Through contact with non-Christians, Christian communities have been able to learn that mission is no longer a North-South or East-West movement. Therefore, we need to go beyond the present geographic confines; mission, today, extends to all five continents. We must recognize that even in traditionally Christian countries, there are sectors and areas foreign to the faith, because in them people have never encountered the faith and not simply as a result of drifting from the Church. Going beyond continental borders means having the energy to raise the question of God in every step of the process of encountering, interchanging and reconstructing social relations which are taking place everywhere. The Synod could be a place for a fruitful exchange of these experiences.
71. The economic sector, with its changes, has also been seen as a favorable place in witnessing to our faith. Many responses described the efforts of many Christian communities on behalf of the poor, an activity which can boast of ancient origins and a fruitfulness which is still very promising. In today’s serious, widespread economic crisis, many responses have mentioned an increase in charitable activity by Christian communities through the establishment of additional institutions dedicated to supporting the poor, and programs within particular Churches to develop a greater awareness of charitable work. Many responses wanted the works of charity to be given greater prominence as an instrument of the new evangelization. The dedication and solidarity of many Christian communities towards the poor, the charitable works in which they are engaged and the simplicity of their life-style in a world which places great emphasis on buying and having, are a particularly beneficial means in proclaiming the Gospel and witnessing to our faith. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 2: Time for a New Evangelization,” paragraph 70-71)

To my wórds give éar, O Lórd, give héed to my gróaning. (Psalm 5:2-2, Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer).

O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
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.

Today’s selections from the Instrumentum Laboris once again address concerns within the previously examined sectors of life: migration and the economy. In compiling responses from all parts of the world, the document notes positively the contributions of migration and the economy to Christian living. Migration, as a global phenomenon, brings peoples of diverse culture in touch with each other that provides the potential for human life ‘to be more rounded,’ more complete. Obviously for that to work, people must be open to embracing the positive dimensions of other’s culture and above all, to discern how elements in everyone’s culture is at the service of the encounter with the Person, Jesus Christ.

Similarly, the economic sector of life is viewed for its positive contributions, especially in working with the poor. The impact of the global recession and the sputters to rebound have left many people facing tremendous hardship when it comes to the necessities of life. The Instrumentum Laboris notes that many people have ‘stepped up to the plate,’ and are actively engaged in the charitable work of the Church, tending to the needs of all in fidelity to Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 25:31-45).

  • What challenges do you face in your parish when it comes to welcoming people from other cultures?
  • Does your parish actively work to alleviate the burdens of the poor? How can you assist?

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