Summary: We must boldly and strongly confront the culture of death with the Truth of the Gospel in our evangelization.
Monday of 14th week in Course
July 5, 2010
You Will Be My Witnesses
The easy course of action for any people is to acculturate themselves to the people around them. That’s what the Hebrews did when they entered Palestine. They saw that the indigenous people worshiped the Ba’als on every hilltop. They themselves began to indulge themselves in the fertility cults. God had called them to transform Palestine into a Holy Land, but they turned it into a temple of fornication. They lost their land because of their physical and spiritual adultery. But God’s plan was more expansive than their own. God became human so that humans could become divine, so that we could, by the power of the Holy Spirit, witness to whatever culture we inhabit, and bring them back to right worship and right conduct.
Our former Archbishop tells us much the same thing. “What is required. . .is a new dedication to the evangelization of culture.” He quotes Pope John Paul, “The new evangelization requires a lucid, serious and ordered effort for the evangelization of culture.” It must be led by the laity, informed by the clergy. You laity must study and plan, identify challenges and find “new means to make the mystery of Christ’s salvation understood in our culture today.” We begin with the good news to those who are physically and spiritually poor, preaching to them hope of liberation from the bondage of sin and death.
“We must also be bold and forceful critics of the idols, injustices, and immorality we find in our culture. We need to expose and root out cultural factors that make it hard for people to have faith in God and to live a just and moral life.” There are value assumptions, patterns of thought and lifestyle models that are literally inhuman, and we must boldly and forcefully stand up against them, using whatever media we can.
The Gospel is “far more powerful” than political programs and ideologies. God reveals to us the truth about ourselves, about the human person. We are created in the divine image, and restored to the divine image by Christ. No political program or platform can rival that Truth. “In the mystery of his becoming man, Christ showed us what humanity was meant to become. He showed us the transcendent dignity and destiny of each human person as a child of God.” The foremost way in which the anti-Gospel of secular culture has convinced humans of the opposite is the way we treat the “weakest and most vulnerable among us,” by denying them the right to life. That is why the Archbishop rightly reminds us that the right to life is the most basic. This is an inalienable right that is not created by the Constitution of the United States or any human document. It is the gift of God, and we deny it at our peril.