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Part Four: Proclamation and Testimony

posted Jan 24, 2016, 10:30 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jan 30, 2016, 1:26 PM ]
And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:15)
Chapter 17 - Giving All
What are ways that arrogance can unconsciously slip into our leadership and our relationships with those we want to serve? What impact does busyness have on our interactions? Who do we include when we speak of our parish and say, "we"?
"Service can sometimes overwhelm people legitimately, particularly those who serve faithfully. They are usually the ones that get dumped on. If one becomes so busy that it effects their interactions with those they are serving, it is time to recognize that and cut back. You cannot effectively serve if you are overwhelmed. Imagine Jesus saying to someone that he didn't have time for them or could we do this at a later time? "We" is the ultimate plural pronoun. It should include everyone. IHM is lucky to have Fr Gill and Fr Francis... Two very people oriented pastoral men!"

Chapter 16 - Conveying Hope and Joy
As a parish, do we make time to be mindful of and celebrate the ways we witness God's engagement in our lives? Are our celebrations manifestations of joy?
"Pope Francis calls us to be "lights of hope." This is a Christian who is ever mindful of God being by his side, that he/she is never abandoned. If you are ever mindful of this, you have an inextinguishable sense of hope, so strong that it illumines darkness around it. If you have that type of hope, why wouldn't you be joyful? Now everybody will experience setbacks - sadness - from time to time but the realization that God is always with you and will never abandon you is a great comfort. I think that most of the people I have encountered at IHM have a sense of joy."

Chapter 15 - Called to Proclaim the Gospel
Pope Francis urges, "Let us help the young.... Have the patience to listen!" How effectively does our parish listen and respond to young people? What mechanisms do we have for encountering, hearing, and engaging with young people?
"I think our parish is very effective in responding to the youth ... Via religious Ed program, youth group, music ministry for children, boy and Girl Scout programs, World Youth Day sponsorship etc. In helping the young and having the patience to listen to them, I was struck by Pope Francis' description of this. He said "listen to their dreams...listen to their successes..., pay attention to their difficulties. In short, do unto them as Jesus does to us. To nurture them, to guide them, to commiserate with them, to love them as Jesus has loved us. On the parish level we need to imbue all the ministries we have - not necessarily create new ones - with the spirit of the culture of encounter; not of timidity."

Chapter 14 - Bringing the Word of God
Pope Francis says, "Faith is born from listening and is strengthened by proclamation." He adds a third consideration: we bear witness to faith through our lives. Talk about how ways our faith community can encourage faithful listening, proclaiming, and living.
"We can encourage our faith community by not just "talking the talk" but by "walking the walk"... more action oriented... Get things done.... Ministries!"

Chapter 13 - Do Not Be Afraid
What specific actions do we take to maintain a strong personal experience of the risen Christ? what positive steps do we take to overcome our fears?
"Positive steps should include: Prayer; Attending Mass- partaking in the Sacraments; Trusting in the Lord and the Holy Spirit! To be close to someone, you have to know them, talk to them, listen to them, spend time with them. We need to do those things that will keep us close to the risen Christ. We need to pray (talk to and listen to), go to mass with regularity and receive the eucharistic Lord - to receive the bread of life, read the word of God and be familiar with it."