Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

They don't know who they are.

Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.
--James 1






Today's first reading challenges us to see the great clash between our faith and culture that surrounds us.  Church attendance is dwindling.  (Less than 20% of Americans "regularly attend church" according to churchleaders.com.)  More than that, the violence, decadence and sexual immorality that abounds on tv, in music and in popular culture reveals that many people today have forgotten what it means to be human.  They don't know who they are or what the fundamental human vocation to love as God loves - as creatures made in His image and redeemed by Christ - is about.  People today are mostly aware of the call of Christian discipleship.  Christian churches abound in American cities.  You can't really grow up in 21st Century America and not hear about "church" and "Jesus."  But they don't respond.  They are drawn away from the chance to pursue virtue by the lure of worldly pleasures and enticements.    They look at themselves, they hear about religion, and they walk away clueless!  There is not fascinating sermon or entertaining worship that will compete with that.  Only showing them Jesus will suffice.  Jesus has to live in our vibrant preaching, orthodox teaching, authentic worship - and most of all our love.  As disciples, we need to be prepared with explanations for the struggles facing our peers that help them to go deeper and see the bigger picture.  Opening up and seeing God is a process, just as the healing of the man in the Gospel today took stages of growth.  The spiritual life is a long process of learning to see God's will for us more clearly.  With men and women corrupted by the culture we need be all the more patient.  So often the world has formed them from infancy to think first of themselves and they do not possess the necessary framework for encountering Christ.  It's like trying to teach calculus to someone who has not learned to add and subtract.  Today's wandering souls need to feel the love of Jesus in our way of life and then be led first by kind individuals to better answers to vexing problems - Biblical, Christian answers proposed in a non-threatening way.  There are better solutions to troubles human persons face than "the easy way out" of abortion or taking drugs to mask one's deeper needs or seeking love in endless one-night-stands.  When life throws us curve balls, Jesus is our number one fan and will always be there to lift us up.  People need to hear that message of hope.  Later on, we can then introduce them to organized religion.  It's a process of seeing, then seeing more clearly, then distinctly.  People of God, members of Christ's Body - rise with joy to proclaim the presence of Jesus.  Call your fellow man to throw away all filth and humbly welcome the Word that will sent them free and give them life everlasting!





1 comment:

FlakePhilosopher said...

First people need to know
1 there is a god..intelligent design
2 that there is one God
3 that our Christian God is Him..
Virtue is primary as natursl law can teach everyone and is primordial encounter with Divine.Without virtue there are no relationships.Without relationship, there is no sacrament.
Organized religion later indeed!
Fabulous point.:) Ive always said the same.