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

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

76. Discernment for a new evangelization clearly acknowledges the profound change which is presently taking place in the Church’s evangelizing mission. Traditional, established concepts — formally denoted by the terms “countries of ancient Christianity” and “mission lands” — are no longer suitable. At present, these terms seem overly simplified and referring to outdated situations; they fail to provide useful models for Christian communities today. Pope John Paul II observed: “The boundaries between pastoral care of the faithful, new evangelization and specific missionary activity are not clearly definable, and it is unthinkable to create barriers between them or to put them into watertight compartments. [...] The Churches in traditionally Christian countries, for example, involved as they are in the challenging task of new evangelization, are coming to understand more clearly that they cannot be missionaries to non-Christians in other countries and continents, unless they are seriously concerned about the non-Christians at home. Hence missionary activity ad intra is a credible sign and a stimulus for missionary activity ad extra, and vice versa.”
77. Despite varying emphasis and factors related to cultures and history, the responses to the Lineamenta well understood the different nature of the new evangelization. They see it not as simply replacing older forms of pastoral activity (the first evangelization, pastoral care) with newer forms, but rather as initiating a process of renewal in the Church’s fundamental mission. Questioning herself on how to evangelize today, the Church does not exclude examining herself and the quality of evangelization in her communities. The new evangelization is the duty of everyone in the Church (individuals, communities, parishes, dioceses, bishops’ conferences, movements, groups and other ecclesial realities as well as religious and consecrated persons) to examine the Church’s life and pastoral activity by closely considering, according to the Gospel, the caliber of one’s life of faith and the ability to be actively involved in proclaiming the Gospel. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 2: Time for a New Evangelization,” paragraph 76-77)

Lord, in your great love, answer me. (Psalm 69:14, Mass).

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.

Under the heading “Mission ad gentes, Pastoral Care and a New Evangelization,” the next few paragraphs address present realities in the work of evangelization. Additionally, this section also speak to the hermeneutic of the New Evangelization: not new content, not a change in content but a renewal in how the content is expressed so as to speak to the specific and unique situation of present ecclesial ministry in the world. Once again, this pre-synodal document calls the Church to examine current efforts and activities. While never abandoning the missio ad gentes (the mission to the world), it is also necessary ‘to keep an eye on the home front.’ The laudable work of going forth is grounded in a base that continues to grow and to fuel the missionary work Jesus entrusts to ALL members of His Church.

  • In many Catholic circles, ‘missionary work’ is perceived by the vast majority as the work ‘special people called missionaries’ do in lands far, far away. What can be done to help everyone know deeply her/his role as evangelizers by virtue of Baptism?

1 comment:

  1. By reason of our Baptism we are freed, no longer barred (angel with the fiery sword) from being in relationship with God and with one another but we are each incorporated into the Father's new Creation, the Mystical Body of which Jesus is the Head and we are His members. Of this Body St.Paul preached that when one member suffers (injustice, poverty, discrimination, abuse) we all suffer and that in this Body one member cannot tell another member that they are not needed (abortion, euthanasia) and that no one can hate (war, terrorism) his own Body. What can be done to help everyone know deeply her/his role as evangelizers by virtue of Baptism? We need to take a tip from St. Paul. Help them to see the whole and not the small part; to see the Father's new Creation in, with and through Jesus so that the evangelized can become evangelizers.