The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life states that the primary function of the Church is to instruct and illuminate the consciences of the faithful, particularly those involved in political life, so that their actions may always serve the integral promotion of the human person and the common good.
The just ordering of society or the state is not the central responsibility of the Church. Yet, as citizens of the state, we are called to participate in public life in a personal capacity. These two spheres, religion and politics, though distinct, are interrelated. A good Catholic should also be a good citizen on earth and in heaven.
God’s grace comes to us principally through the sacraments especially the most Holy Eucharist – the central Christian sacrament. As such, the Sunday gospel for the start of Ordinary Time is rich in Eucharistic undertones. It is taken from either John the Baptist’s acknowledgement of Jesus as the “lamb of God” (today’s gospel) or Jesus’ first miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. Through these two stories, we are invited in Ordinary Time to order our lives around the mystery of the Eucharist and truly dispose ourselves to being the Body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion.
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE, 1 JANUARY 2015
NO LONGER SLAVES, BUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS
1. At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to every man and woman, to all the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious leaders. In doing so, I pray for an end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by epidemics past and present, and by the devastation wrought by natural disasters. I pray especially that, on the basis of our common calling to cooperate with God and all people of good will for the advancement of harmony and peace in the world, we may resist the temptation to act in a manner unworthy of our humanity.
Opening Mass For Year Of Consecrated Life 29-NOV-2014
SCRIPTURE READINGS: ZECHARIAH 2:14-17; MATTHEW 12:46-50
THEME: REDISCOVERING OUR JOY OF CONSECRATION TO THE LORD
Today, the world has lost direction, meaning and purpose. This is a fragmented world we are living in as we lack common values and the foundations for building unity. This is because the world has left God out of the picture as He is absent and no longer felt or experienced. This has led to agnosticism, secularism, materialism and relativism. Hence, the thrust of the Universal Church is the work of the New Evangelization. This is the key to save ourselves and the world.
This call for the New Evangelization was started and initiated by St John Paul II. What is this New Evangelization? New Evangelization entails a rediscovery of our faith and the passion for Evangelization. This call was taken up by Pope Benedict who convoked the synod of the New Evangelization and started a dicastery to deal with the challenges of the New Evangelization. The synod spells out what the New Evangelization entails. It begins with an invitation to rediscover and re-appropriate our faith and then to witness the Good news in words and charity. It requires us to permeate the Christian faith in all areas of life, culture, economy, business, politics, education, family and ecology. Pope Benedict also wrote the apostolic letter on the occasion of the declaration of year of faith.