Does our religious perspective inform our political perspective, or is it the other way around? On episode six of The Church Alive: Politics, Cheridan and Sebastian take a closer look at this timely question. What has become apparent in our culture is the degree to which some Catholics are willing to ignore – or even subvert – the Gospel for the sake of a purely political or worldly point of view. If the New Evangelization is going to succeed, that has to change. In this excerpt from an extensive interview with the Editor in Chief of America Magazine, Fr. Matt Malone, SJ sheds some light on the meaning of a truly “orthodox” faith. In this regard, it seems that a profound reordering of heart and mind – what the church calls conversion – is the necessary prerequisite for bringing the truth about Jesus into the modern world.
This post comes to us from Leanna Cappiello, a former Salt + Light intern, turned blogger and storyteller. This post was first published online by The Catholic Register. You can read Leanna’s blog Curious Catholic, on The Catholic Register’s website.
Before Vatican II, the laity served a passive role in the Church behind ordained religious figures such as priests, sisters and brothers. But post-Vatican II much has changed. As recounted in the book The Many Marks of the Church, in response to a dismissive, rhetorical question “The Laity? Who are they?” posed by a Vatican official, John Henry Newman replied, “The Church would look rather silly without them.”
In addition to the clergy, parishioners and lay members of the Church have a responsibility to voice the Good News to the world. In The Church Alive series by Salt and Light Media, Cheridan Sanders summarizes Fr. Julian Fernando, as saying, “Priests are responsible for the Church, and lay people are responsible for the world.”
Not everyone can be a priest or a religious sister. Most people are called to a different sort of ministry within the same mission of the Church. Lay men and women have a job that clergy can’t do. Priests, sisters and monks may wear beautiful physical signs of their devotion (a collar, a habit, etc.) that are outward signs of hope for many. But ordinary men and women also have an extraordinary purpose — to evangelize face to face, bearing witness in everyday life.
In the theatre, you hear the phrase, “there are no small parts.” Artists are aware there is more than one type of artistry, or one way to accomplish something. A performer knows he is nothing without a writer, other actors and a stage manager’s cue to enter the stage. Likewise, the director knows she is nothing without the props, costume and set designers to bring their vision to reality. Everyone is dependent upon, and inspired by, everyoneelse’s roles and duties.
The Church, like the theatre, is designed so that many hands can work effectively toward the same goal. We all have different roles that play to our strengths and we are all equipped with unique gifts. At the end of the day, we are collaborating with each other, and with God, to show the world a taste of what heaven could look like here on Earth.
(CNS Photo / Nancy Phelan Wiechec)
The Church Alive is off and running! Episode two on “Catholic Education” aired last night and got a great response from our viewers (see above). Thanks to all who tuned in! We want to share an important piece of information regarding the availability of the show: Salt and Light TV will make each episode available for ONE WEEK following its initial air date. Watch it, share it, discuss it as much as you can while it’s available!
The Church Alive airs Sundays at 9pm ET / 6pm PT
What role does Catholic education play in the New Evangelization? That’s the question The Church Alive team is looking at this week on episode two of Salt and Light’s new 13-part series. If you’re a teacher, catechist, parent or student, be sure to tune in to this critical analysis of effectiveness and best practices, and discover the uniquely broad and inclusive nature of a truly catholic formation.
Tonight at 9pm ET on Salt and Light TV and online at: saltandlighttv.org/live
Today on Perspectives: Greek Melkite Patriarch Gregorios Laham speaks out about the situation of Christians in Syria, Pope Francis writes a letter to the editor of an Italian newspaper, and we have information about two S+L season premieres.
4th Sunday of Easter, Year C – Sunday April 21, 2013
The readings for the 4th Sunday of Easter are Acts 13:14, 43-52; Revelation 7:9, 14b-17; John 10:27-30
As we move away from the day of Christ’s resurrection, the Sunday Scripture readings for the Easter Season help to deepen our understanding of what happened to Jesus and to the Church through his triumph over death. On the Second Sunday of Easter, we looked carefully at the wounds of Christ and renewed friendship with him at table in a locked upper room.
The Third Sunday of Easter this year (C) enabled us to peer into the intimate lakeshore scene, leading us through the ruins of denial and despair, and offering us a chance to recommit ourselves to loving Christ as friends.
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, we encounter the Good Shepherd who is really the beautiful or noble shepherd who knows his flock intimately. “Good Shepherd Sunday” is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations in the Church. In all three liturgical cycles, the Fourth Sunday of Easter presents a passage from John’s Gospel about the Good Shepherd.
In the Old Testament, God himself is represented as the shepherd of his people. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). “He is our God and we are his people whom he shepherds” (Psalm 95:7). The future Messiah is also described with the image of the shepherd: “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care” (Isaiah 40:11).
In the Bible and the ancient Near East, “shepherd” was also a political title that stressed the obligation of kings to provide for their subjects. The title connoted total concern for and dedication to others. Shepherd and host are both images set against the background of the desert, where the protector of the sheep is also the protector of the desert traveler, offering hospitality and safety from enemies. The rod is a defensive weapon against wild animals, while the staff is a supportive instrument; they symbolize concern and loyalty. [Read more...]