After spending a few years as a University chaplain I was asked to join the team at the Christian Education Centre in Tooting Bec. It was later renamed “The Centre for. Catholic Formation.” My responsibility was to support those involved in preparing young people and adults for the sacraments. I enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to look at the way we share faith.
Those days came back to me as I read today’s Gospel where Jesus calls the twelve and sends them out in pairs. I think it was significant that Jesus send his disciples in pairs. Sharing faith, evangelisation and catechesis is not a solitary endeavour but something that we do with others. It is good for people to experience the gospel lived out in peoples lives. I also think that it is significant that in today’s Gospel Jesus spends more time talking about the lifestyle that the disciples are to adopt.
Saint Pope Paul VI in his encyclical wrote:
Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness. Take a Christian or a handful of Christians who, in the midst of their own community, show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with the efforts of all for whatever is noble and good. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one. Here we have an initial act of evangelization.
As you may know the Centre for Catholic Formation closed in August last year. A new way for supporting the work of Evangelisation, Catechesis and Formation in parishes has been established and a video was issued on YouTube this week introduced by Archbishop John sharing with the Diocese his vision of Southwark being an Evangelising and Missionary Archdiocese.
Let us pray that we will encourage on another to share the joy we experience in having a personal relationship with Jesus. Let out face and our life show the joy of the gospel.