Friday, July 26, 2013

Cardinal Sean O'Malley's catechetical session on mission

This morning, at the Vivo Rio Centre, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Capuchin Franciscan Archbishop of Boston, gave a catechetical session on mission.

He explained that the new evangelization is about being a missionary at home, where people know about Christianity, but don't want to practise the faith. It's much more difficult to evangelize to these people than to bring the Gospel to those who had never heard it before. 

People receiving the Gospel message for the first time have a sense of amazement. In our own countries, it's harder to do because the attitude is "been there, done that".

Once we have been evangelized, we are called to be evangelizers. On Holy Thursday, Jesus gave us a new commandment - to love one another the way that he has loved us, and this is the way that people will know that we are His disciples. We need to have fraternity and friendship Amon ourselves. 

Jesus loves us first and He wants us to love others first, to forgive first and to extend ourselves first. We shouldn't wait for others to love us for us love them. 

To do this, Jesus gives us a gift to strengthen us to live out this command - the Eucharist.

Jesus commands us to love, but he also gives us the sacrament to love. 

At the Ascension, Jesus also gives us the command of commissioning - to go in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live out this command.

Everything that we are and everything that we have is a gift and Jesus wants to give us so much more - He wants to give us himself. Our task is to help people reconnect with God through the intercession of saints.

We need to have mercy and compassion to be good evangelizers, and reach out to those in need who are spiritually poor, spiritually sick, and spiritually abandoned.  Just as we need to help people in their material needs, we need to help them spiritually and have that same sense of urgency. It's our love for Christ and for others that motivates us.

Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations and to invite people to be part of his family. Through World Youth Day, Pope Francis and the entire Christian community commission us to go and share the Good News.

Cardinal O'Malley reminded us that to be good evangelizers, we first need to have our own conversion as our actions of love speak louder than words, then we need to learn more about our faith to be able to explain it in the light of reason, and finally, we need to share our faith with others as we are our brother's and sister's keeper. We have the secret to eternal life and to the greatest problems in life, and we need to share that secret with others.
Cardinal O'Malley said that most of us are called to marriage and we need to avoid the trap of cohabitation. People who live together before they get married have twice as many chances of ending up divorced than couples who live together after they're married.

When choosing a spouse, we should pray that the Holy Spirit guide our choice and to help us marry the right person, for the Holy Spirit to make that person right for us and for us to be right for that person. We need to have the same faith and mission to share Christ's love with others, and we need to be open to having children. 

Priests and religious also need to have a missionary heart and learn to love others, especially the young people by attending WYD! Jesus needs us to reach others for Him.

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