MANILA, Oct. 26, 2012—If companies spend millions to sell its products, how does the Church “sell” the Gospel to make it appealing to the laity?
Msgr. Gerry Santos, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE), urged the clergy to exert an extra effort to present the Gospel in a language that is understandable to the lay as part of their work for the New Evangelization.
“High school and college students find out messages and preaching boring and unappealing. What do we do to make our preaching come alive?” Santos said.
“A company spends millions of dollars to sell its new product. How do we “sell” the Gospel today that will evoke a positive response for the people?” he added.
In a homily delivered for him during the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines’ (CEAP) Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith, Santos said clergymen’s single most important work for New Evangelization is “to make Jesus known and loved.”
“Each of us should have one single ambition: that people may continue to gaze on the beauty of God and be consumed by his love. To make Jesus known and loved is the single most important work for New Evangelization,” he said.
Santos said the canonization of Pedro Calungsod as the second Filipino saint comes at a time when the local Church faces the various challenges in society and even attacks on its existence.
“With a second Filipino saint, will this make us a ‘better’ Church – a church humble enough to admit its faults and failures? A church that speaks not from a position of power but from a position of humble loving service? A church that needs to speak the language of families, the young, the women and the poorest? A church that brings joy to people’s faces because it celebrates what is essential in the Filipino spirit?” he said.
Echoing the call of Pope Benedict XVI for the clergy to engage in the New Evangelization, Santos said “confession is not effective without caritas.”
“The Church is called to make a confession of faith in the Triune God: that our God made himself known to us. Our response is to know the faith, to own the faith, to safeguard the faith and to proclaim the faith,” he said.
“But confession is not effective without caritas—the fire of love that captures the hearts and imagination of people. People get to know Jesus because of love and because of charity,” Santos added.
Several prelates around the globe are gathered in Rome, Italy for the 13th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization and the Transmission of Faith. The synod is currently in its third and final week. (YouthPinoy)