How do RCIA catechists model "service"?

2 thoughts on “How do RCIA catechists model "service"?”

  1. I believe RCIA 75.4 is not so much speaking about social justice as it is about giving witness to the kerygma (the basic Gospel message of what Jesus Christ did to save us from our sins and give us eternal life) through evangelization like the Apostles did in Acts of the Apostles (hence, “apostolic”).

    I think that they can do this especially by sharing what they are learning in RCIA with their friends, family, and co-workers – perhaps by even inviting someone to the parish inquiry sessions.

    It is so amazing to see how a newly lit-on-fire inquirer/candidate/catechumen can bring others to the Faith. Many of our neophytes were originally brought into the faith by others who had participated in the RCIA process as participants.

    As catechists, I believe we model the apostolic work of spreading the Gospel and building up the Church by what we do as catechists within the RCIA: We give witness to God’s marvelous works in our lives, profess our faith, and proclaim/explain the Gospel… all with the intention to drawing the participants into the love of God and to place them in intimacy with Christ.

    I enjoy inviting newly born neophytes to give a short testimony at the inquirer sessions – to have them practice sharing the Gospel. This has been very, very fruitful.

  2. Hi Tom. Thanks for your comment. I especially like the idea of having neophytes witness to their faith.

    I don’t see a distinction between evangelization and justice. The way I understand “apostolic” is the way the Catechism defines it: “to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth” (863). The Kingdom, of course, is a Kingdom of righteousness and justice.

    We cannot simply proclaim the good news verbally. There must be a result of the proclamation that looks and feels like good news. If we tell those who are oppressed, “Jesus has saved you,” and yet we do nothing to free them from their oppression, our “evangelization” is hollow and ineffective.

    The U.S. bishops said as much in their document, Go and Make Disciples:

    The fruits of evangelization are changed lives and a changed world—holiness and justice, spirituality and peace. The validity of our having accepted the Gospel does not only come from what we feel or what we know; it comes also from the way we serve others, especially the poorest, the most marginal, the most hurting, the most defenseless, and the least loved. An evangelization that stays inside ourselves is not an evangelization into the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    I do agree with every point you made, but I see each of those points as a fundamental call to be agents of righteousness and justice. It’s not either or for me. It’s both and.

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