“You are my beloved!”
With this moving benediction from this Catechetical Sunday’s Lucan Gospel, I greet you all my sisters and brothers in the catechetical ministry. This year I encourage you to respond generously to the initiative of the Catechetical office for a year of prayer and study for all catechists, so that you may be renewed in the ministry of the Word.
I have noted with great interest that the main focus of the Catechetical Office for the year 2010 will be to help catechists to rediscover the ‘Pedagogy of God’. Indeed if we are to echo the voice of the Master, we need to be familiar with the unique way the Master teaches. Jesus Christ teaches through His Church gathered around the Eucharistic table! In this regard I would like to share with you the conclusions of the Ninth Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asia Bishops Conference (FABC) held in Manila, Philippines from Aug 10-16, 2009. The theme last year was “Living the Eucharist in Asia”.
The FABC insisted that to celebrate the Eucharist is to live in faith: a faith planted, nurtured, and nourished by the Word. It demands we become contemplative listeners and ponderers of the Word, like the Virgin Mary, our Mother. Our sisters and brothers of other religions in Asia have a great devotion to their sacred books. They chant and interiorise the written word. How much more for us who have been offered the Word made flesh!
Today more than ever, young people especially, are in need of such witnesses, without which, catechesis is reduced to reciting endless doctrinal formulas or at the other extreme, a hundred creative teaching methods that eventually empty the cross of Christ of its power to save.
In this year of prayer and study my dear catechists, may you be renewed at the living sources of Faith that is the Scripture, the Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church! May you rediscover at these living sources the ancient faith of the Fathers of the Church! May this rekindling of the flame of faith, offer you the courage and creativity to proclaim without compromise the whole Christ! (Christus Totus)
I generously implore God’s blessings on each of you and your families. May the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit enflame your mind and heart with a passionate love for Christ and His Church!
I remain your devoted servant,
Archbishop Nicholas Chia