Christ Our Life 2016 Teacher Parish Ed Gr 2

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49) The New Evangelization The Essential Mission of the Church primary focus of his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel . In that Exhortation, Pope Francis encourages all the Christian faithful “. . . to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” The primary language Pope Francis asks Christians to use is “. . . the language of mercy, which is more about gestures and attitudes than words.” Catechesis and the New Evangelization  The National Directory for Catechesis affirms that catechesis leads believers to a deeper knowledge and love of Christ and his Church. With the New Evangelization, catechesis is given a missionary dynamic to evangelize the culture, affirming what aligns with Jesus’ teaching and challenging what does not. ( NDC 17.D) Among its pastoral directives, the NDC encourages dioceses and parishes to adopt and implement the goals of Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States. A summary of some fundamental objectives follows: ( NDC 17.E) • for every believer to experience a personal conversion to Jesus Christ that leads to renewal and participation in the life of the Church • to encourage knowledge of Holy Scripture and Tradition of the Church • for believers to work toward renewing every parish, especially through implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults • for believers to rededicate themselves to the Word of God and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and to commit to celebrating the Eucharist every Sunday • to make evangelical and social justice connections to the Sunday Eucharist • to call believers to daily prayer, in particular, to pray the psalms and the Liturgy of the Hours, to contemplate Christ’s life in the Mysteries of the Rosary, and to revere the Eucharist through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Entrusted by Jesus Jesus’ Commission  In the Gospel of Matthew, after his Resurrection, Jesus gives this mandate to the apostles: “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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20) The Acts of the Apostles tells us that the apostles and disciples were at first afraid. But their fear disappeared with the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church (Acts of the Apostles 2:1–41). Peter went out and boldly proclaimed the Gospel to the gathering crowd. The mission of the Church to know, proclaim, witness, and share the Word did not end with the early Church. Jesus Christ is with us and continues to send the Holy Spirit to inspire us and give us the courage to proclaim the Gospel. Every generation is called to share the Good News of God’s love with the world. Catholic parents are especially called to recognize their vocation as the first catechists for their children to see that they learn the fundamentals of the faith. The children will then be prepared to enter the world with the knowledge they need to become evangelizers for their generation. The Holy Fathers Speak  The popes since the Second Vatican Council have called the Church to realize how central the mission of evangelization is to our identity as Catholics. The call for the Church to be an evangelizing community began in modern times with the Second Vatican Council. This was seen especially in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (1965) and The Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church (1965). This was followed up in 1975 with Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, On Evangelization in the Modern World. Building on the initiative of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II stressed the need for a New Evangelization in his Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America. There Pope John Paul II wrote, “The program of a new evangelization . . . cannot be restricted to revitalizing the faith of regular believers, but must strive as well to proclaim Christ where he is not known.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made New Evangelization the theme of the 2012 Synod of Bishops. Following up the synod, the bishops of the United States published a new document, Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization . Pope Francis has made evangelization a THE NEW EVANGELIZATION T243

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