PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH

11/30/2021 1:31:16 PM
December 2021

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INTENTION : Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

THE MINISTRY OF CATECHIST

Catechesis is not a "job". It is not a task that is external to the person of the Catechist. In fact, "being" a catechist is a vocation of service to the Church received as a gift from the Lord. It should be transmitted in one's turn.

Catechists must constantly return to that first announcement of "kerygma", which is the gift that changed their life. It is the fundamental proclamation that must continuously resound in the life of Christians.

"Nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation" (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 165).

The Catechists walk from and with Christ. They are not persons who set out with their own ideas and tastes, but rather who let themselves be looked at by Him, by that gaze that makes the heartburn.

The more Jesus occupies the centre of our lives, the more He allows us to come out of ourselves; He decentres us, and brings us closer to others. This dynamic of love is like the hearts movement: "systole and diastole"; they concentrate on encountering the Lord and immediately opening up, coming out of themselves for love, to bear witness to Jesus and speak of Jesus, to preach Jesus.

He gives us the example of himself: He would retire to pray to the Father and then go immediately to meet those hungry and thirsty for God, heal them, and save them.

This is the basis of the importance of "mystagogic" catechesis, which is the constant encounter with the Word and with the sacraments and not merely occasional before the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation.

The Christian life is a process of growth and integration of a person's dimensions on a community journey of listening and answering (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, n. 166).

Furthermore, Catechists are creative; they seek to use different means and forms to proclaim Christ. It is beautiful to believe in Jesus because He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6) who fills our existence with joy and cheerfulness.

This endeavour to make Jesus known as the highest form of beauty brings us to encounter new signs and ways to transmit the faith.

The means may be different but what is essential is to keep in mind the style of Jesus, who adapted to the people He had before Him to bring them closer to the love of God.

Though it is always the same, one must know how to "change" to adapt to bring the message closer because God does not change but renews all things in Him. In the creative endeavour to make Jesus known, we must not have fear because He is ahead of us in this task. He is already in our midst, and awaits for us wherever we are.

"Dear catechists, I thank you for what you do, but primarily because you walk with the People of God. I encourage you to be joyful messengers, custodians of the good and beauty that shines through the faithful life of the missionary disciples."

Pope Francis

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二零二一年 十二月  第三百六十一期

和平 之聲 嘉理陵神父

願宣講天主聖言的教理講授者(福傳員) 能以聖神的力量, 勇敢而有創意地為天主聖言作證。

月的祈禱意向,有趣地提到創意 ─ 一個需要我們正確地去認識的重要因素。除了宣講聖言之外,優秀的教理講授員,也是一位導師:肩負著傳授某種知識的使命,而這裏所指的知識,就是天主教教理,也可稱之為「天主教的常識」,即一個天主教徒在日常生活中,應該要有的信念和行事習慣。良好的教學法需要有創意,讓教授的內容生動有趣、具吸引、使人聽後不容易忘記。創意不等同創作許可,例如小說創作。所以,祈禱意向提及的創意,必須忠於天主聖言,忠於教會訓導,即是說創意要忠誠。教理講授員在慕道班準備新教友接受洗禮所發揮的創意,應該超越教理用語,帶慕道者投入活潑的信仰,給教授的道理注入生命,讓聽者跟耶穌建立起一份個人的關係。創意的靈感及其發揮的實質作用,在乎教理講授員本身的生活見證。

許,你已經留意到,「祈禱宗會」易名為「教宗全球祈禱網絡」。在教宗祈禱意向當中的一些深入見解,有助我們作祈禱或退省。每個年度的教宗祈禱意向,涵蓋不同情況和事件。在十二月份,在我們迎向慶祝耶穌聖誕的這一個月份,身為教會的成員,我們為自己的團體、耶穌親自建立的教會祈禱,實在是一件很美好的事。慶祝耶穌聖誕的十二月份,理應提醒我們天主子耶穌降生是要做「厄瑪奴耳」 ─ 天主與我們同在 ─ 一個清楚標明關係的稱號。也許,在天主教學校的宗教科,或堂區的慕道班,焦點都落在「教理」上,這是可以理解的。教理當然非常重要,但本月的祈禱意向鼓勵我們思考:思考那可能是更重要的「信仰培育」。因為一般來說,單憑教理講授,不會使人對所講授的對象產生深厚的個人關係。信仰培育跨越教理的客觀真理,進入培養人際間的認知 ─ 愛,即我更加認清,如同我被全認清一樣(參格前13:12),因為我明白到耶穌跟門徒所說的這句說話的真正意思:「我不再稱你們為僕人……我稱你們為朋友」(若15:15)。教宗的祈禱意向提出有關信仰培育的兩大要素,我在談的是天主聖言。我不是指要將一些「金句」背得滾瓜爛熟,而是用聖經去培育。正如聖依納爵教導的:把祈禱建基於「對天主的熟悉,會得力應付一切」。

二零二一年 十二月《和平》

聖誕日

聖經沒有明確記載耶穌出生的年、月、日。教會最終選擇了12月25日為我們紀念和慶祝救主誕生的日子。選定這一天有很多理由,包括聖經資料在內。12月25日原本是一個異教節日,後被「基督化」,用以慶祝身為世界之光的那一位的誕生。若翰洗者的斷言也是這個選擇的依據:「他應該興盛,我卻應該衰微」(若3:30)。我們可以默想在我們的救恩歷史當中,一連串與此有關的日子。我們知道天使加俾額爾告訴瑪利亞,她的表姐依撒伯爾懷了男胎,已經六個月了,胎兒是洗者若翰(路1:36)。所以,若翰比耶穌大六個月。由預報救主降生節,瑪利亞成孕的3月25日起計,到12月25日的聖誕節,這九個月是懷孕期。由12月25日倒數六個月,再加一天,就是6月25日。不過,當時的計算方法是由下一個月的第一天開始倒數八天,所以若翰洗者的誕辰便定於6月24日,即春分之後的這一天。春分是一年中最長的一天,春分過後,北半球的白晝漸短;12月25日則是冬至之後的幾天,白晝漸長,日照更多。日短日長的自然現象,是若翰斷言的自然徵象(若3:30)。

耶穌會士

嘉理陵神父

theology.org.hk
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