Week 20, Wednesday. Queenship of Mary. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

“And they devoted (προσκαρτεροῦντες, proskarterountes) themselves to the Apostles’ teaching (τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων, te didache ton apostolon) and fellowship (καὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ, te koinonia), to the breaking of bread (τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου, te klasei tou artou) and the prayers (ταῖς προσευχαῖς, proseuchais).
And day by day, attending (προσκαρτεροῦντες, proskarterountes) the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook (μετελάμβανον, metelambanon) of food with glad and generous hearts (ἀγαλλιάσει καὶ ἀφελότητι καρδίας, agalliasei kai apheloteti kardias) and praising God (αἰνοῦντες τὸν θεὸν, ainountes ton Theon) and having favor (χάριν, charin) with all the people. And the Lord added (προσετίθει, prosetithei) to their number day by day those who were being saved (σῳζομένους, sozomenous) (Acts 2:42, 46-47).”

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. (Psalm 23:1, Mass).

O God,
who made the Mother of your Son
to be our Mother and our Queen,
graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession,
we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom
the glory promised to your children.
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 selection from the Instrumentum Laboris ‘looks’ a bit different from previous entries. The selection is not per se a paragraph from the document, rather a quote from the Acts of the Apostles that now opens Chapter 3 of the Instrumentum Laboris, “Transmitting the Faith.” Insights expressed in the paragraphs that follow do in fact flow from the testimony and life of the infant Church, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. For that reason, it is appropriate to spend a few days breaking open this Word of God that is known by many as the ‘Constitutive Elements of Church.’ Each element ought to be a source of reflection for how our parishes and dioceses exist as a living expression of the Body of Christ and therefore a set of criteria for being Church.
The biblical citation informs us, “And they devoted (προσκαρτεροῦντες, proskarterountes) themselves.” The “they” referred to in the Sacred Text are the newly baptized. As the post-Pentecost apostles preached Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, thousands heard and accepted the preaching in such a way that it moved them to accept baptism in Jesus Christ. “They” sought and accepted baptism after listening to the preaching of the apostles. The Acts of the Apostles makes a distinction between preaching and teaching. The crowds of people listen to the apostles ‘hand-on’ the Person, Jesus Christ. This initial preaching, this initial ‘handing-on’ OF A PERSON, the Person Jesus Christ, is an encounter with Him in which one is blessed with the gift of faith. This initial preaching in the Acts of the Apostles is known as kerugma or kerygma (κηρυγμα). κηρυγμα is a first-preaching. κηρυγμα, technically, is not all the details about Christian belief and theology. κηρυγμα is presenting the crucified and risen Jesus in such a way that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, a person initially accepts Jesus and begins to live the Gift that has been given in that encounter: faith, that relationship that trusts what the Person Jesus says and does is the way to live the Kingdom authentically as a child of His and our Father. Long before an delving into the finer points of belief (which we will examine tomorrow) and analyzing deeper theological contentions and teachings, κηρυγμα is the first-work of the Body of Christ, a work that fundamentally and foundationally ‘hands-on’ the Person Jesus that all may encounter Him.

  • Do ‘religious education programs’ and/or Catholic schools follow, in your experience, this distinction between preaching and teaching?
  • Was this a distinction that was needed in the infant Church alone - or - can it benefit us in the present day? If so, how?
  • Is is possible to present much ‘data’ about Jesus and miss Him as Person?

1 comment:

  1. Not having children, I can't answer the first question about today's religious education programs and Catholic schools but I can comment from my own experience of Catholic schools of the 1950's and 60's. The initial "handing on" of the person Jesus was in my family, especially by my mother, who did not attend Catholic school. She, however, could only "hand on" what was given to her. We were sent to Catholic school so that we could receive (be taught) what she could not give us. I also believe from what I can remember that preparation for First Penance and First Communion was both a handing on and teaching but after First Communion, it was all teaching.

    All teaching (subject/marks) with no preaching (handing on/encounter) can starve/deform our spirits. Our spirit needs the encounter to understand the teaching. They go hand in hand - distinct but complimentary.

    Yes. All we need to know, as the Holy Spirit wanted us to know him, is found in the Gospels. Besides the Imitation, St. Therese found everything that made her a Saint in a small New Testament that she always carried with her next to her heart. Would that we followed her example.