Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Faith for Thought

We just had a Scripture class and it has given me new insights for the new year that I wanted to share with you all. It gives insight to our mission as the Daughters of St. Paul but also ALL of our mission as Christians overall!

The Scripture scholar who teaches the class (we listen to her on tape) knows everything about tradition and history. She has been breaking apart the Penteteuch for us and teaching of the different authors who were trying to share to their audiences back then about God, but also trying to make sense of their world. The first weeks of these classes kind of shook my faith a little bit, because if we are not careful, we get caught up in the human-ness of the works and forget they are divinely inspired and trying to show the action of God in our lives. But today in class, the lesson brought back the faith element for me and so I wanted to share with you the Good News :)

She said our job as evangelists and catechists is to come up with NEW metaphors and images to talk about Jesus. In other words, to put the Good News in the context of how people today will understand. When the authors of the Old Testament were writing, they were writing to a specific audience- people in exile. Of course we are still in exile today and the words apply, which is why the Bible is the basis of our faith. But we still need to explain, as Christians, how Jesus saves us TODAY in new ways. ESPECIALLY to a people whose world is changing so rapidly.

I share that just because I think that explains alot about the problems in the Church today. Some people are trying to speak about Jesus as we did as a Church 400 years ago. And while that is a part of our history, how are we going to praise and worship Jesus TODAY? Some of it is still relevent, but not all of it. It is more a preservation of history and old traditions, it seems, than moving towards what Pope John Paul II taught: the NEW EVANGELIZATION.

Pope Benedict's encyclicals, so far, I think, have been in tune to Pope John Paul II's message. I think the current pope speaks very much in our language and the encyclicals are easy to read. His latest one is on HOPE which definately what we need to look at as many of us look at the world in dismay.

I am reminded that the reason I entered this order is because our mission here is to come up with new ways to share the Good News of Jesus. But that is ALL of our mission as Christians. Let us in this new year come up with new ways for us to share our ever-changing encounters with Jesus! But always remember the history with love and respect as well. And look towards the merging of new and old with HOPE.


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