Written by Sherry
Saturday, 16 August 2008 14:25
A great magisterial quote that we used in Making Disciples this week.
Faith is born of preaching, and every ecclesial community draws its origin and life from the personal response of each believer to that preaching.
- Redemptoris Missio, 44
In light of Ann's observation below, I thought I would post the entire context of the quote above because the "preaching" referred to above is specifically the fundamental proclamation of Christ that awakens faith. It is narrower and more specific than liturgical preaching which encompasses many other aspects of the ministry of the Word.
The Initial Proclamation of Christ the Savior
44. Proclamation is the permanent priority of mission. The Church cannot elude Christ's explicit mandate, nor deprive men and women of the "Good News" about their being loved and saved by God. "Evangelization will always contain - as the foundation, center and at the same time the summit of its dynamism - a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ...salvation is offered to all people, as a gift of God's grace and mercy."72 All forms of missionary activity are directed to this proclamation, which reveals and gives access to the mystery hidden for ages and made known in Christ (cf. Eph 3:3-9; Col 1:25-29), the mystery which lies at the heart of the Church's mission and life, as the hinge on which all evangelization turns.
In the complex reality of mission, initial proclamation has a central and irreplaceable role, since it introduces man "into the mystery of the love of God, who invites him to enter into a personal relationship with himself in Christ"73 and opens the way to conversion. Faith is born of preaching, and every ecclesial community draws its origin and life from the personal response of each believer to that preaching.74 Just as the whole economy of salvation has its center in Christ, so too all missionary activity is directed to the proclamation of his mystery.
The subject of proclamation is Christ who was crucified, died and is risen: through him is accomplished our full and authentic liberation from evil, sin and death; through him God bestows "new life" that is divine and eternal. This is the "Good News" which changes man and his history, and which all peoples have a right to hear. This proclamation is to be made within the context of the lives of the individuals and peoples who receive it. It is to be made with an attitude of love and esteem toward those who hear it, in language which is practical and adapted to the situation. In this proclamation the Spirit is at work and establishes a communion between the missionary and his hearers, a communion which is possible inasmuch as both enter into communion with God the Father through Christ.75