14 LAITY for the New Evangelization - Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko

posted Oct 16, 2018, 10:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 16, 2018, 10:35 AM ]
The Church today ought to take a giant step forward in her evangelization effort, and enter into a new stage of history in her missionary dynamism".1 This statement in Christifideles Laici is still very relevant today, and the role of the laity in this process continues to be irreplaceable. Christ said, "You too go into my vineyard" (Mt 20:3-4), and this invitation should be seen as a clear call to an ever growing number of lay men and women to take on their responsibility in the life and mission of the Church. This refers to their responsibility in the life and mission of all the Christian communities – dioceses and parishes, and ecclesial Associations and Movements. The engagement of lay people in evangelization is already changing the life of the Church2, and this is a major sign of hope for the Church.

The enormity of the harvest to be collected for the sake of the Gospel today gives a note of urgency to the Divine Master's missionary mandate: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15). Unfortunately, nowadays, a mentality of relativism has taken root, and is spreading even among Christians. This creates a great deal of confusion for our mission. Some examples are the following: the tendency to replace mission with a kind of dialogue in which all positions are equal; the tendency to reduce evangelization to human advancement and no more, being convinced that it is enough to help people to be better people or to be more faithful to their own religion; a false concept of respect for the freedom of others that refrains from teaching the need for conversion. These and other doctrinal errors are addressed in the encyclical Redemptoris Missio (1990), then in the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), and later in the Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (2007) issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. These documents deserve to be studied in depth. Evangelization is an explicit mandate from the Lord, and therefore it is not of secondary importance. It is the reason why the Church is a sacrament of salvation.