Topic 2: Their Cry for Help
In the last discussion/sharing, we reflected on the Parable of the Lost Sheep in today’s setting. In what is happening in the world right now, the estimation in number of the lost sheep against those who were in the flock is reversed to ninety-nine lost and one left in the flock. We also mentioned that prevalent culture of appearance is creating a hunger in people for authenticity and truth and this is what Catholicism is about. We ended with a question: Why is Christianity being rejected?
As we continue, people’s desire for authenticity against the background of the culture of appearance and deception has not diminished. The harsh truth that needs to be faced is that we Christians and perhaps we Catholics are as much a part of this culture as anyone else. They do not want to see another television evangelist, nor do they want to read another book or hear another CD about Christianity or to hear our amazing story of conversion. With the unprecedented proliferation of words, symbols, images and every mode/medium of communication lately, people are tired, worn out, overloaded with information.
More than ever, our non-Christian and non-practicing brothers and sisters of the faith are maybe sending us and all of Christianity a message though maybe are not aware of it. Our siblings, parents, children, relatives, friends and co-workers are sending us a message whispering, saying and even crying out: “Don’t tell me – show me!”
Their message is clear, unmistakably and disarmingly simple. They want the real thing. They want to witness, touch and hold someone, anyone – just one will do – live an authentic Christian life. They want to be face to face with someone striving humbly but heroically living what is good, true and noble in our times. They want to be with someone whose words are supported by the authority of his or her actions. Within this message is a challenge for us all to embrace a life deeply rooted and more fully in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Seeing the conflicts and contradictions of our life, they are angry because of the disappointment and it robs of them of their own hope to live an authentic life themselves. They are disillusioned and searching, and they will never cease calling to us like sheep without a shepherd, wanting to be fed, wanting to be led to the green pastures of kindness, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, acceptance and love. Theirs is a natural cry for help, saying to us, “Don’t tell me – show me!” They are so hungry for courageous example of the authentic life.
- Are you hearing the cry for help to “show them and not simply tell them” about Christianity?
- Where is this cry coming from? Your spouse? Your children? Your blood brothers and sisters? Your relatives? Your friends? Your co-workers?
- What does this tell you about the New Evangelization with the immediate circle of relationships that you have?
Points of conclusion after the discussion:
- New Evangelization is not about other people in the first place. It is about us.
- The call for the New Evangelization opens with the Year of Faith and the Year of Faith calls all Catholics to a re-conversion.