Week 17, Saturday. Saint John Vianney. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

78. According to the various responses, this examination resulted in three basic requirements: 1) the ability to discern or a capacity to place oneself within the present circumstances, unwavering in the conviction that, within this context, the Gospel can still be proclaimed and the Christian faith lived; 2) the ability to live forms of fundamental and authentic adhesion to the Christian faith, whose simple character can already serve as a witness to the transforming power of God in our history; and 3) a clear and visible bond with the Church, capable of making her missionary and apostolic character perceptible. These requirements are submitted to the consideration of the Synod Assembly in the hope that, through its deliberations, the Church might receive assistance in following the path of conversion called for by the new evangelization.
79. Many particular Churches, at the time they received the text of the Lineamenta, were already engaged in examining and re-planning their pastoral programs based on these requirements. Some used the term "missionary renewal" to describe their work; others "a pastoral program of conversion". All were in strong agreement that the heart of the new evangelization is the Church's renewed commitment to her missionary mandate, given by the Lord Jesus Christ, who willed her and sent her into the world, so that she might be guided by the Holy Spirit in bearing witness to the salvation she has received and in proclaiming the face of God the Father, who took the initial step in this work of salvation. (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 2: Time for a New Evangelization,” paragraph 78-79)

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

Almighty and merciful God,
who made the Priest Saint John Vianney
wonderful in his pastoral zeal,
grant, we pray, that through his intercession and example
we may in charity win brothers and sisters for Christ
and attain with them eternal glory.
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.

The selected paragraphs today finish the topic “Mission ad gentes, Pastoral Care and a New Evangelization” and do so in a very clear and convincing manner. We are seeing once again actions at the heart of the New Evangelization: discerning, witnessing, bonding (to the Body of Christ, the Church) and converting (ongoing, daily conversion of heart, mind and body). In drawing together responses to the Lineamenta, this Instrumentum Laboris notes the renewal that is happening in parts of the Church centering on missionary work and ongoing conversion.

The Instrumentum Laboris is presenting an initial path for ecclesial renewal and the renewal of each believer. While we await with expectant faith the work of the Holy Spirit in the Synod this October, deepening reflections on what it means to witness to Jesus Christ as one sent forth (mission) and the requirement of ongoing, daily conversion of heart, mind and body to the Person, Jesus Christ are works that have a timeless and eternal validity for the individual Christian and the One Body of Christ. Too often, renewal at various levels of the Church attempt, albeit with good intentions, a ‘re-invention of the wheel.’ Our Savior has provided all: 1) the Kingdom is present, therefore 2) turn from the selfishness of sin to the selflessness of service in My Name (metanoina, conversion) and 3) bind yourself to Me and trust that My words will lead you on the path of life in this world and in the world to come (belief, faith).

  • Among some, terms such as witness, conversion, personal relationship with Jesus Christ sound foreign and distant. How do we loose the baggage of false meanings associated with these Gospel terms and embrace the call to action that they summon? 

1 comment:

  1. Actions speak louder than words. In the lives of the Saints, men, woman, children, priest, religious and laypeople from every age, we find witness, conversion and personal relationship with Jesus that give these words their truel meaning. In our secular society, reading about and imitating the Saints has been supplanted by "celebrity" where we rarely find witness, conversion and personal relationship with Jesus and more times than not we find the complete opposite. The Saints are great lights which must again be placed on the lampstand for all in the house to see.