Theme – Witnessing to the Faith
Because families play an indispensable role in the new evangelization, we want to share our faith with other families and those who are far away from God.
From Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to the Pontifical Council for the Family
The new evangelization depends largely on the Domestic Church (cf. ibid. [Familiaris Consortio], n. 65). In our time, as in times past, the eclipse of God, the spread of ideologies contrary to the family and the degradation of sexual ethics are connected. and just as the eclipse of God and the crisis of the family are linked, so the new evangelization is inseparable from the Christian family. The family is indeed the way of the Church because it is the “human space” of our encounter with Christ. Spouses “not only receive the love of Christ and become a saved community, but they are also called upon to communicate Christ’s love to their brethren, thus becoming a saving community.” The family founded on the sacrament of Marriage is a particular realization of the Church, saved and saving, evangelized and evangelizing community. Just like the Church, it is called to welcome, radiate and show the world the love and presence of Christ. The reception and transmission of divine love are realized in the mutual commitment of the spouses, in generous and responsible procreation, in the care and education of children, work and social relationships, with attention to the needy, in participation in church activities, in commitment to civil society. The Christian family to the extent it succeeds in living love as communion and service as a reciprocal gift open to all, as a journey of permanent conversion supported by the grace of God, reflects the splendor of Christ in the world and the beauty of the divine Trinity.
1. How can we as a family better communicate Christ’s presence to others in word and action, thereby becoming a “saving community” that shares the love of Christ?
2. Remembering that the “new evangelization” is not new in content but “new in ardor, methods and expression,” what are some ways we as a family can evangelize, and what truths might we express?
3. Why is family such an effective voice for addressing important issues?
Scripture Reading - Psalm 148:1-6, 11-13
A song of praise to the Lord
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
give praise, all you his hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens,
you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name;
for he commanded and they were created,
Assigned them their station forever,
set an order that will never change.
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all who govern on earth;
Young men and women too,
old and young alike.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name,
for his name alone is exalted,
His majesty above earth and heaven.
Invite a family member, friend or acquaintance to Mass, adoration or a faith-forming event with you. Also, write down ideas for small sacrifices and offerings on individual pieces of paper. Place these in a small bowl. Every day, have each member of the family randomly select one piece of paper to offer the sacrifice listed for the intentions of a relative or friend. At the end of the month, each family member might send a note to the person for whom they made the offering, telling him or her about their prayers and sacrifices.
Ed Hebert Sr.