Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Same Mission, Same Basic Message, New Century

About two thousand years ago my Lord gave orders to the eleven disciples. They hadn't yet filled the gap in their ranks left when Judas defected.
" '...Go, therefore, 12 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. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "
(Matthew 28:19-20)
Quite a bit has changed since then: but the mission my Lord gave His followers hasn't.

By the way, Jesus gave those orders after He'd been killed - and subsequently stopped being dead. I think that had a great deal to do with the enthusiasm Peter and others showed for carrying out the great commission.

Yesterday the successor of Peter had a few words to say about our mission in the world, including this:
"...'proclaiming Jesus Christ, the sole Savior of the world, is more complex today than in the past, but our task continues to be the same as at the beginning of our history. The mission hasn't changed, just as the enthusiasm and courage that motivated the apostles and first disciples should not change.'..."
(Benedict XVI, May 30, 2011, via CNA) [emphasis mine]
I've put more excerpts from that CNA article at the end of this post.1 The only transcript of the Pope's remarks I found at the Vatican was in Italian. Here's a link, in case you understand that language: "Alla Plenaria del Pontificio Consiglio per la promozione della nuova Evangelizzazione, 30 maggio 2011, Benedetto XVI."

I recommend reading the CNA article:

Church on Sunday and 9 to 5

One point that jumped out at me was that it's necessary to live as if what we say and do on Sunday matters. (Which, in my considered opinion, it does.)
"...Pope Benedict observed a growing 'phenomenon' of people in modern society 'who wish to belong to the Church but who are strongly determined by a vision of life that is opposed to the faith is often seen.'

" 'It is important to make them understand that being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity.'...

"...The 'lifestyle of believers needs real credibility,' the Pope said, adding that Christians should be 'much more convincing' because the 'condition of the persons to whom it is addressed' is dramatic...."
(Benedict XVI, May 30, 2011, via CNA) [emphasis mine]
I'm looking forward to seeing what the 2012 Pontifical Council comes up with. Not that the results are likely to be easy reading.

Which brings up a point I make fairly often: I'm a Catholic layman. I've got the full authority of "some guy with a blog." I don't speak for the Church.

On the other hand, I try to be an informed Catholic layman. Which is why I make an effort to check out what the Holy See has to say about issues - not what some American editor says they say. And that's another topic.

Somewhat-related posts:
In the news:

1 Excerpt from CNA article on Benedict XVI's remarks:
"Pope Benedict stressed the urgency of evangelizing modern society, saying that Christians today face the task of reaching a world that grows increasingly apathetic to the message of the Gospel.

" 'The crisis we are living through,' he said, 'carries with it signs of the exclusion of God from people's lives, a general indifference to the Christian faith, and even the intention of marginalizing it from public life.'

"The Pope made his remarks on May 30 to members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, as they prepare for their upcoming synod in 2012....

"...Pope Benedict explained that 'the term "new evangelization" recalls the need of a new way of evangelizing, especially for those who live in a situation like today's where the development of secularization has left deep marks on even traditionally Christian countries.'...

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.