The goal of the entire process of transmitting the faith is to make the Church a community of witnesses of the Gospel. Pope Paul VI states: "She is the community of believers, the community of hope lived and communicated, the community of brotherly love, and she needs to listen unceasingly to what she must believe, to her reasons for hoping, to the new commandment of love. She is the People of God immersed in the world, and often tempted by idols, and she always needs to hear the proclamation of the 'mighty works of God' which converted her to the Lord; she always needs to be called together afresh by Him and reunited. In brief, this means that she has a constant need of being evangelized, if she wishes to retain freshness, vigor and strength in order to proclaim the Gospel. The results of this ongoing project of evangelization, which are generated in the Church as a sign of the life-giving power of the Gospel, take concrete form in the responses given to the challenges of our times. Families need to become true and real signs of love and sharing, with a capacity to hope in virtue of their openness to life. Forces are needed in building communities which have a true ecumenical spirit and are capable of dialogue with other religions. Courage is needed to sustain initiatives of social justice and solidarity, which put the poor at the centre of the Church's concern. Joy needs to be more evident in the dedication of one's life to a vocation to the priesthood or the consecrated life. A Church which transmits her faith, a Church of the "new evangelization", is capable in every situation of demonstrating that the Spirit guides her and transforms the history of the Church, of individual Christians and of entire peoples and their culture.Questions for reflection this week
- Recalling that charity and the proclamation of faith always go hand in hand, how do our charitable efforts and activities and programs of social justice offer us distinct opportunities to proclaim Jesus Christ and his message to those we are assisting?
- How are our Christian communities living stones, places in the Church which provide people with a spiritual experience? To what extent do our faith programs have as an objective not only the intellectual adherence to Christian truth, but also the creation of an experience of a personal encounter, communion and "living" the mystery of Christ?
- How have listening and discussion groups on the Word of God becoming common tools in the Christian life of our communities? How do our communities express the centrality of the Eucharist (celebrated and adored), and, based on this, program their life and activity?
- What major fruits have been produced in our Churches through the transmission of the faith? How much are individual Christian communities prepared to acknowledge these fruits, to sustain them and to nourish them? What fruits are greatly lacking?
- What obstacles, trials and scandals impede this proclamation? How have communities learned to live these moments by drawing from them opportunities for spiritual and missionary renewal?