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I Will Make You Fishers of Men

by Ian on March 29, 2008

The Feast of St. Mark - the Evangelist - is April 25 - "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature"

Thomas said [to the other Twelve] "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Both [Mark and Matthew] designate Jesus' preaching with the Greek term evangelion-- but what does this actually mean? The term has recently been translated as “good news.” That sounds attractive but it falls far short of the order of the magnitude of what is actually meant by the word evangelion. This term figures in the vocabulary of the Roman emperors, who understood themselves as lords, saviors, and redeemers of the world. The messages issued by the emperor were called in Latin evangelium, regardless of whether or not their content was particularly cheerful and pleasant. The idea was that what comes from the emperor is a saving message, that it is not just a piece of news, but a change of the world for the better. . .The evangelium, the Gospel, is not just informative speech but performative speech-- not just the imparting of information, but action, efficacious power that enters into the world to save and transform. Mark speaks of the “Gospel of God,” the point being that it is not the emperors who can save the world but God. And it is here that God's word, which is at once word and deed, appears; it is here that what the emperors merely assert, but cannot actually perform, truly takes place. For here it is the real Lord of the world-- the living God-- who goes into action.

- from "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict XVI
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Pope Benedict XVI's "Apostolic Journey to the United States" begins in April! The theme of his visit is "Christ Our Hope."
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Christ sent his apostles so that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations." "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." The mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in the mission to evangelize, because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word:

The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God . . . . The preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacraments are sacraments of faith, drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word.

"The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called 'sacraments of faith.'"

 

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“But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence”

-1st Letter of St. Peter 3:15

Reasons for Apologetics

"The first reason, for the Christian, is out of obedience to God's will, announced in his Word. Refusal to give a reason for faith is disobedience to God. There are also at least two practical reasons for doing apologetics; to convince unbelievers and to instruct and build up believers. Evan if there were no unbelievers to persuade, we should still give reasons for faith, for faith does not remain alone but produces reasons just as it produces good works. Faith educates reason and reason explores the treasure of the “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”

Furthermore, faith for a Christian is faith in a God who is himself love, our lover and beloved; and the more our hearts love someone, the more our minds want to know about our beloved. Faith naturally leads to reason through the agency of love. So faith leads to reason, and reason leads to faith...Thus reason and faith are friends, companions, wedded partners, allies."

- from the Handbook of Christian Apologetics

 

First Holy Communion season is here!
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We hope your Easter season, the season our Our Salvation, is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
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