Strike the Match: Evangelize!

[T]he convocation of the Synod is seen as a timely opportunity for the entire Catholic Church to listen, discern and, above all, give a unified response to what we are called to do . . . to energize Christian communities and, at the same time, provide concrete answers to the many questions facing the Church today and the resources available in her evangelizing activity[...].

[T]he Synod is expected to enliven and energize the Church in undertaking a new evangelization, which will lead to a rediscovery of the joy of believing and a rekindling of enthusiasm in communicating the faith. The question is not simply devising something new or undertaking unprecedented initiatives in spreading the Gospel, but living the faith in the spirit of it being a divine proclamation... (Instrumentum Laboris, par. 5)

Amidst a few weeks of prayer and conversation around the table, Pope Benedict is striking a match and lighting a candle, calling bishops and the rest of the Catholic world to renewing the Church's primary role—her very reason for existence—evangelization!

The Christian faith is not simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition. The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ.

Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions which lead to this encounter between the person and Jesus Christ. The goal of all evangelization is to create the possibility for this encounter, which is, at one and the same time, intimate, personal, public and communal... The Church is formed precisely through the grace of this relationship. (Instrumentum Laboris, par. 18)

To evangelize, the Church must first be evangelized. So must we.

Faith is sharpened and strengthened when it is shared. Let us pray and enter deeply into this Year of Faith, igniting the flame, and passing on its light.

9/12/2012 4:00:00 AM