They Recognised Him at the Breaking of Bread
“It is I who need baptism from you and yet you come to me!”
With this humble cry of recognition of John the Baptist from this Catechetical Sunday’s Matthean Gospel, I greet you all my sisters and brothers in the catechetical ministry.
Indeed, together with the Baptist, we too are overcome with gratitude when we realise that Our Lord chooses to manifest His presence through the humble signs of the Church’s liturgical tradition – bread and wine, water and oil, light and colour – these simple liturgical signs point to the Incarnate Presence with us throughout the year. Indeed how moved we must be to realise how simple and small God makes Himself for us, and yet how enduring and powerful!
You will remember that for the year 2010, the main focus of the Catechetical Office was to help all our catechist-coordinators within the Archdiocese to re discover the “Pedagogy of God”.
The agenda for the year 2011 is to further initiate catechists into this unique pedagogy of faith by paying attention to the locus in which such a catechesis takes place – the liturgical and scriptural life of the Church. Hence the theme chosen for this Catechetical Sunday – “They recognised Him at the breaking of bread.” (Lk 24:35)
Is it not interesting to consider that it was only when Jesus took the bread and broke it for the disciples at Emmaus that their eyes were opened? What was it in the action of Jesus that sparked their memory? Could it be that they recognised the action of the breaking of the bread and immediately their hearts were moved to remember the words of Jesus – “Do this in memory of me?”
There is a powerful connection between action and memory; it is in doing that we remember. Head, heart and hands form a powerful trinity that a catechist engages as they craft catechetical sessions rich in doctrinal value and beauty which move a young person to respond with a grateful heart. Today more than ever, young people, especially, are in need of such a catechesis. Why?
For many of our young people, their relationship with reality is more virtual than real, more cerebral than tactile. We, as catechists today, are called to proclaim with certainty and creativity “what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life” (1 Jn 1:1)
In your formation this year, as you rediscover the genius of liturgical catechesis, may you, my dear catechists, be plunged into the very depths of the Church’s womb and arise as joyful witnesses to the great simplicity and essential nature of a renewed catechesis.
I generously implore God’s blessings on each of you and your families. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, may each of you be filled with a passionate love for Christ and His Church!
I Remain Your Devoted Servant
Archbishop Nicholas Chia