There had never been a time when the gospel was proclaimed without a challenge. We in the present century, have to pinch ourselves if we think we can have a problem free church. It can never be. Church history informs us that the suffering church of the Middle Ages birthed and enhanced abiding faith. Ours is to identify our challenges and look at them not as problems but challenges. It is important to tell oneself that, yes there are challenges but what can I do for my God? Let our faith speak to us, give us the courage to proclaim the gospel in our brokenness then we have become witnesses of the gospel. We would have become relevant to the society.
It is one thing to preach the gospel from a pedestal and not hands on with the challenges that others have. In Evangeli Nunciandi, Pope Paul IV said, “if modern man believes in the Gospel it is not because we are great orators or great teachers but because we are great witnesses. We witness lives their life and there is no dichotomy between what they proclaim and what they live.” Fr Moyo challenges the church to be credible in the genuine witnesses of the Gospel of our challenging times.
Fr Moyo noted that in modern times, Christians have become lax in their faith and witness. Instead of evangelizing to the world, we have given ourselves to the world. His take on the proclamation of the gospel is that many religious orders were born out of a protest. A good protest for that matter, where men and women say that life can be better, can be transformed. They were counter cultural. “Our weakness today is that we have become so cosy that we find it difficult to speak against the structures of evil within our world. When we are compromised, we somehow muzzle the gospel that the gospel no longer disturbs yet it is supposed to disturb us into action when we are too comfortable. At the same time, the gospel is there to also comfort us when we are disturbed. We have to keep this balance.”
Can we stand for the gospel without compromising the values drawn from the gospel as we evangelize the world? Then this is where Redemptorist Missions takes its kick in conscientising the people to resilience in faith and in the gospel, bringing many to healing, conversion and adherence to the Catholic faith through the one on one evangelization, going beyond denomination or problems, focusing on the dignity of the Christian or person and restoration of the lost to God. This is accomplished through the preached sermons on the sacraments of healing, marriage and baptism as witnessed at Corpus Christi Cathedral and community for the past two weeks. How can we live and benefit from them since we receive them and they give us the grace from the Lord is the question for every Christian. If we can be true to our baptism, and understand what it is to be reconciled with God and one another, and true to marital vows exchanged at the altar, then we are beginning to witness to challenge our society and a world that has done away with the idea of permanency. If we see young men and women going down the aisle and make those vows of marriage forever, then it tells us that there is still hope. It is witnessing to what we stand for and we are already witnessing the gospel and going against the current of the world.
That is the call to every Catholic Christian; to live our faith without comprising it with the world; to live a life worthy of our calling; to seek out the lost and the ignorant of the gospel and restore them to the Lord, to go beyond our comfort zone, remove fear of the world; to shun evil; challenge all that does not author life in ourselves and others. It is rather a calling to be the next Christ for the Cross that saves the world, be the bread offered, blessed and broken for the salvation of souls. It is to question our baptismal call and put it into action as prophets, priests and kings worthy of the Lord. Restore marriage, commune with the Lord and with one another. Then they shall know we are the Lord’s disciples.