Week 25, Friday. Evangelizing Thought of the Day (ETD)

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

90. As stated in the topic for the synod, the purpose of the new evangelization is the transmission of the faith. The Second Vatican Council recalls the complex nature of this process which fully involves the Christian faith and life of the Church in an experience of God's revelation: "In his gracious goodness, God has seen to it that what he had revealed for the salvation of all nations would abide perpetually in its full integrity and be handed on to all generations." "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (cf. Acts 2:42), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort."
91. The Acts of the Apostles illustrates that a person cannot convey what is not believed or lived. The Gospel cannot be transmitted in a life which is not modelled after the Gospel or a life which does not find its meaning, truth and future based on the Gospel. Like the Apostles, we, even today, have access to a life of communion with the Father, in Jesus Christ, through his Spirit who transforms us and equips us to not only transmit the faith which we live but also elicit a response in those whom the Spirit has already prepared with his presence and action (cf. Acts 16:14). A fruitful proclamation of the Word of the Gospel calls for profound communion among God's children which is a distinguishing sign accompanying proclamation, as St. John the Apostle recalls: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another"(Jn 13:34, 35). (Instrumentum Laboris, “Chapter 3: Transmitting the Faith,” paragraphs 90-91)

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! (Psalm 144:1, Mass).

O God,
Who taught the Martyr Saint Wenceslaus
to place the heavenly Kingdom before an earthly one,
grant through his prayers that, denying ourselves,
we may hold fast to you with all our heart.
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.

As the Synod for the New Evangelization draws near, perhaps you are finding many people posting summaries, insights, and thoughts – all kinds of statements – concerning the essence of The New Evangelization. Minimally, these insights and summaries that present Christian living in light of The New Evangelization

  • must be anchored in, tethered to and grafted onto the Person Jesus Christ Who desires each person to encounter Him and respond by living ongoing, daily conversion of heart, mind, body and soul that trusts Him (faith) as the only way to live and whose Word is Truth.
  • The New Evangelization must be grounded in the Person Jesus Who gave the missionary mandate to His disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teachings them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” All, by virtue of Baptism, are called to be evangelizers.
  • The New Evangelization requires deeply pondering in a spirit of humility and docility the Church’s teaching at Vatican II, particularly the Constitutions: On the Liturgy, On the Church in the Modern World, On the Church and On Divine Revelation and how that teaching is lived and expressed in the Sacred Liturgy and Catechism of the Catholic Church. The documents published in preparation for the Synod, the Lineamenta and the Instrumentum Laboris, must also be prayerfully studied as we await the Synod and the Holy Father’s exhortation afterwards.
  • The New Evangelization must be grounded in the wisdom of Pope Paul VI as powerfully expressed in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi.
  • The New Evangelization must be guided by Blessed Pope John Paul II insistence that all ministerial and pastoral work in the Church aim at putting people in communion with Jesus Christ - with a new ardor, method and expression.
  • In light of Pope Benedict’s teachings and specific elements raised in the Instrumentum Laboris, to experience the Sacred Liturgy and Family together with the model of the Baptismal Catechumenate celebrated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as graced encounters with Christ that hands-on the Faith to one another in the Holy Spirit.
  • And coming full circle, the words of Pope Benedict spoken just days ago in Castel Gandolfo: “... [E]vangelization requires starting from the encounter with the Lord, within a dialogue rooted in prayer, which then concentrates on the witness of giving itself toward the end of helping the people of our time to recognize and discover anew the signs of the presence of God.”

While I am not intending the above points to be exhaustive, they are culled from a number of sources (particularly the Lineamenta and the Instrumentum Laboris) that continue to insist upon the foundational experience of the encounter with Jesus Christ. Such a point and summary are important as the Instrumentum Laboris moves to consider all that is involved in “Transmitting the Faith.”

“Transmitting the Faith” is an act of handing-on the Person Jesus Who is the fullness of God the Father’s Revelation. Paragraph 90 echoes the Church’s teaching in On Divine Revelation that Divine Revelation is not a ‘what.’ Divine Revelation is not Scripture in isolation to the Sacred Tradition. Divine Revelation is not the Sacred Tradition removed from Sacred Scripture. Divine Revelation is a Person, the Divine Person Jesus Christ Who in His Incarnate nature gives access to His Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. As such, all of Sacred Scripture, all of the Sacred Tradition must be lived in the context of the Person Jesus. It is not a question of Sacred Scripture versus the Sacred Tradition. It is not fundamentally what Sacred Scripture or the Sacred Tradition teach about Jesus. Christian living is the witnessing, the modeling, the imitation of Jesus in day-to-day living that is marked by how each loves and how each serves/builds up the One Body of Christ in charity flowing from the encounter with Him.

  • How have you viewed Sacred Scripture and the Sacred Tradition?
  • Given your reading of the pre-Synodal documents, what would you add to the summary of The New Evangelization presented here?


  1. Sacred Scripture is Word. Sacred Tradition is Word. John said it best. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..." To look for anyone else, to listen to anyone else, to live for anyone else, to witness to anyone else, in the words of St. Paul, is so much rubbish. We have been living far too long off the scraps of the pig styes of the world. With this Synod, the Word once again is calling us to Himself. It is time to turn around and go home and being the sheep that we are if the strongest among us start out first, the rest will follow.

  2. 2. I would add a precaution from the Talmud from which the rabbis teach that Adam's first sin was that he spoke too much in that he added to the word of God (Gn 2:15 and Gn. 3:2-3). Through the documents you reference and the Shepherds you name, who have been the witnesses given to us, we have the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus that "the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you...when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning." We must be disciples who dare not add to what the Spirit has spoken but we must be disciples who dare to be His witnesses.