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Can’t presume “yes” At end, Jesus wondered, “when I come again, will there be faith?” (Lk 18:8) Challenging times for “faith on earth” - everywhere. Many.

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Presentation on theme: "Can’t presume “yes” At end, Jesus wondered, “when I come again, will there be faith?” (Lk 18:8) Challenging times for “faith on earth” - everywhere. Many."— Presentation transcript:


2 Can’t presume “yes” At end, Jesus wondered, “when I come again, will there be faith?” (Lk 18:8) Challenging times for “faith on earth” - everywhere. Many reasons

3 Ours is a secular age (Taylor) A separating of faith from life and a falling off of religious practice because the cultural conditions discourage faith (e.g. enlightenment) or offer alternatives (e.g. self sufficient humanism)

4 In Church: scandals that reflect betrayal of Gospel and Catholic faith Divisions, revisions and tensions e.g. around Vat II Pervasive sense of paralysis; elephants in corner but little we can do

5 But: Self sufficient humanism not nearly as humanizing as a life lived in faith; for high times, low times, & everyday Made in Divine image (Gn 1:27), alive by life of God (Gn 2: 7), we live more humanly by honoring our nature as spiritual beings

6 No better alternative than Catholic Christian faith – when at its best Card Lustiger - A time for chosen faith: Will I have faith? So much depends on what, why, and how we educate

7 For Reflection and Conversation Your reasons to hope for Catholic faith in Ireland? What will help to realize your hopes?

8 What Faith : In Jesus! New awareness of centrality of Jesus to Catholic faith Not the Bible, church, laws, sacraments, dogmas, but “At the heart we find a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father” (CCC #426)

9 Jesus of History who walked the roads of Galilee, calling people to live for reign of God Preached radical love – even of enemies; fed the hungry, welcomed the marginalized Claimed to be “the way, truth and life” for disciples

10 Christ of faith, Son of God, among us as one of ourselves; By his life, death, and resurrection, conquered sin, social & personal, and death By “God’s abundant grace in Christ Jesus” (1Tim 1: 14) we can live as disciples

11 All preaching and teaching should "put people in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ” (GDC #80); present Christian faith as “full and sincere adherence to his person and decision to walk in his footsteps” (#53) – disciples

12 Jesus reveals God as : Ultimate Mystery, yet active among us to effect God's reign Of love and justice, compassion and peace, in partnership with us and for us God is Love and in Love with us - unconditionally; Triune Loving Community calling us to so live

13 “with us and for us”

14 Sends the Spirit : Ever present as God's effective love – grace at work Moving in our hearts and lives – sacramentality of ordinary and everyday Inspiring to live in "right relationship" with God, self, others, creation

15 For Reflection and Conversation What does it mean for Irish Catholics to put Jesus at center of Christian faith? What might persuade post- modern Irish to embrace Jesus as “way, truth, & life”?

16 Why to Teach: Need a new* apologetic for Catholic Christian faith Of persuasion not coercion Of conviction not submission *Very old e.g. Justin Martyr

17 Apologetics: to explain, defend, persuade to Christian faith Aristotle: we need rhetoric of persuasion based on: Pathos (appeal to desire), Logos ( to reason), Ethos (to the fruits)

18 Re-centering Jesus lends: Pathos : can appeal to peoples needs, desires; e.g. for a full life Logos : reflect the reason and coherence of Catholic faith Ethos : appeal to good fruits; e.g., happy are poor in spirit, just, etc.

19 Jesus’ sense of purpose: for reign of God; “for life of the world” (Jn 6: 51); for “life to the full” (Jn 10:10) “Good news to poor, freedom to oppressed” (Lk 4:16-21) For liberating salvation, personal and social; human flourishing

20 How to Teach: Not only to teach Jesus and what he taught, but how he taught? A bit naive in our time and place. But... Our how should be consistent with the approach of Jesus’ public ministry

21 Catechists to imitate “the pedagogy of Christ” (GDC #140); to embrace Jesus’ approach as “the best model for communication of the faith” (GDC #137) Jesus described as “teacher” and as “teaching” 150 times

22 Reflection and Conversation From your own sense of it, how would you describe Jesus’ pedagogy? How might Irish catechists, teachers, and parents be consistent with his style?

23 Jesus was : Welcoming and Inclusive : distinctive in his outreach and radical inclusion Respectful of Learners : to empower as agents instead of dependents Favored Partnership with him and each other Compassion and justice : centrality of reign of God

24 Focusing on Jesus’ pedagogy as evident in explicit events, esp. the parables, his overall dynamic was to lead people from life to Faith to life He did so by:

25 * Engaging ordinary and everyday of people’s lives; fishing, farming, home * To reflect on their reality, to question, often to “see” in whole new way * Taught Gospel with authority (Mk1:22) * Encouraged people to see for themselves, with personal conviction * Invited to decision – to follow his “way” as disciples

26 Invited people to share their own story and vision Shared with them the Story and Vision of the Faith community Brought them to “see for themselves” and to personally embrace Christian Faith

27 The Road to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35): He joined their company; heard their traumatic story and shattered vision; retold the Story and Vision of faith community; waited for them to personally “see”; they returned to deepened faith Life to Faith to Life

28 For Reflection and Conversation Insights, wisdoms emerging from example of Jesus? Decisions for your own efforts to ensure “faith on earth” – in Ireland?

29 Thomas Groome, Irish National Religious Education Congress, Tralee, Oct 9th 2011 ( For further reading: see Groome, Will There Be Faith (Harper, 2011) and Credo series

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