When you’re done listening to the CD that was included in your January packet (Why Contraception Matters: How It Keeps Us from Love and Life), be sure to pass it on to someone else and ask them to do the same after they’ve listened. One CD has the potential to pass on the message to dozens of people, so do your part!
Posted tagged ‘Evangelization’
There are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the exercise of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The very testimony of their Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief and to God; for the Lord says, “Even so let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one’s way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life. “For the charity of Christ impels us” (2 Cor. 5:14). The words of the Apostle should echo in all hearts, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16)
-Pope Paul VI (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 6)
Lay people* also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, “that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life.” For lay people, “this evangelization . . . acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world.”
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, 905
*Lay People (laity): non-clergy members of a religious group
I just wanted to post this great quote from Pope Benedict XVI on evangelization. I thought it was timely seeing how this is our topic of the month as well as the current Family Formation home lesson for this week.
“We cannot remain tranquil in face of the thought that, after two thousand years, there are still peoples who do not know Christ and have not yet heard his message of salvation.
Not only this; the multitude grows of those that, even having received the proclamation of the Gospel, have forgotten and abandoned it, not recognizing themselves now in the Church; and many environments, also in traditionally Christian societies, today are refractory in opening themselves to the word of faith. Underway is a cultural change, fueled also by globalization, by movements of thought and by the prevailing relativism, a change that leads to a mentality and a lifestyle that does without the evangelical message, as if God did not exist, and which exalts the search for well-being, easy earnings, careers and success as the objective of life, even at the cost of moral values….The Gospel is not an exclusive good of the one who has received it, but is a gift to be shared, good news to communicate. And this gift-commitment is entrusted not only to a few, but to all the baptized…”
Pope’s Message for World Mission Sunday 1-25-11
Our job is to evangelize, most especially our spouses and our children. This is hard sometimes but Christ is calling us to do it. We should take time to consider the fact that we stand in the line of countless people who suffered and died just so that we could have the Catholic faith today. The little sufferings that most of us will endure in life seem like nothing in comparison to the saints and martyrs. Most of us are not called to evangelization unto death. Since that is the case, our minor problems and difficulties should be put in perspective. Let’s honor God and spread His Good News to all those around us, especially those closest to us, both in word and deeds.
Yours in Christ,
“Furthermore, the family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family which is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighborhood of which it forms part.”
-Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World), 71
“The ministry of evangelization carried out by Christian parents is original and irreplaceable. It assumes the characteristics typical of family life itself, which should be interwoven with love, simplicity, practicality and daily witness.”
-Familiaris Consortio, 53
The point of this week’s lesson isn’t necessarily to encourage you to pack up your bags and move to Africa to evangelize the poor pagans there,* but we would like to challenge you to think about the topic of evangelization as an everyday event in YOUR life.
It’s easy to just assume that there are professionals on the job and the rest of us best stay out of the way. Priests, religious, and professional apologists** are all trained and ready to do it well, right? It’s true – their visible public witness, zeal for the Faith, and professional credentials all work together to typically make them very effective witnesses of the message of Christ, and that’s an essential role of the Church in our world. Equally essential, however, is that all the rest of us also keep watch for opportunities to share the Faith and boldly trust the Holy Spirit help us out when needed. It’s our hope that this lesson will raise your awareness of that, and will provide some simple ways you can make sharing the Faith with your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, and even random strangers you happen to meet, a part of your life.
*Actually, it seems that more and more priests are coming to America to evangelize the poor pagans here!
**Apologetics: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
As you page through this month’s Holy Week Activities packet, you’ll notice lots of fun activities to decorate your house or feed your guests, but we challenge you to look at the same pages as suggestions for evangelization.
If you’re planning to spend Easter with family or friends, be sure to do all you can to keep the focus on the true meaning of Easter. For example, your kids can use the information on pages 2-5 to make decorations for your (or Grandma’s) Easter table. Relatives who may never be interested in hearing about your Faith, might gladly listen to your children describe the details of their artwork.
Are you giving Easter baskets or having an Easter egg hunt? There are two ideas in the packet with ways you can make these traditions about more than candy and eggs.
Would you like to give your guests a simple gift? A small bag of jelly beans with the prayer on page 15 attached would be a great table favor.
And most important – even the least committed Catholics are likely to attend Mass on Easter Sunday. Be sure to invite someone to go to Mass with you! This is a great time to be a bold witness for Christ!
Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb by Fra Angelico