Thursday, September 20, 2012

Evangelization is not for Specialists

The Year of Faith marks the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II and the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith". 

Benedict XVI told the Bishops that "Evangelization is not the work of a small number of specialists but of the entire People of God under the guidance of their pastors. Each member of the faithful, with and within ecclesial communion, must feel the responsibility to announce and bear witness to the Gospel".

During the opening of Vatican Council II, Blessed John XXIII had affirmed the need for "'this certain and unchanging doctrine, which must be faithfully respected, to be developed and presented in a way that responds to the necessities of our time'. We could say that new evangelisation began with the Council, which Blessed John XXIII saw as a new Pentecost that would make the Church flourish in her interior richness and here maternal outreach towards all areas of human activity. The effects of that new Pentecost, despite the difficulties, have extended to every expression of Church life: from the institutional to the spiritual, from the participation of the lay faithful, to the growth of charisms and sanctity".

This heritage has been entrusted to the pastoral care of bishops, the Pope explained, and he encouraged his hearers "to draw from this patrimony of doctrine, spirituality and sanctity in order to educate your flock in the faith, that their witness may become increasingly credible

The faith calls for "credible witnesses, people who trust in the Lord and entrust themselves to Him 'to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world'. The bishop, who is the first witness to the faith, accompanies believers on their journey offering them the example of a life lived in faithful abandonment to God.

"Your personal commitment to sanctity must involve daily assimilation of the Word of God in Prayer and in the Eucharist.   Vatican City, 20 September 2012 (VIS) -

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