The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Scriptural Catechesis

The Church exists for the purpose of sharing the Gospel and inviting the whole world to salvation and relationship in Christ. Consequently, “a Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate,” that is, a call to mission. [1] Many are enthused to receive such a dignified call, but these sentiments are not self-sustaining. The enormity of evangelizing the whole world, which initially can provoke excitement, often degrades to discouragement amidst incessant demands for action. There is always something more to do in this fallen world, and apostles can begin to question, “What time do I... Read more
At the origin of human history lies a pivotal moment—the fateful bite from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. However, this profound narrative doesn’t conclude with the original sin; it finds its ultimate fulfillment in the taste of the Eucharist. Through the sense of taste, which once led to humanity’s fall, we now receive spiritual nourishment and the grace of eternal life, all made possible through the loving sacrifice of Christ. In the Garden of Eden, God placed two trees—the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. While Adam and Eve were commanded... Read more
I suspect that most Catholics who have some familiarity with the Bible and the Eucharist could tell you that the Eucharistic celebration, rooted in the Last Supper, has connections with the Passover of Exodus and Jewish practice. We know that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper in the context of the Passover Feast and that he and his apostles used some of the same foods used at Passover, such as unleavened bread and wine. I’m not sure that most of us, however, appreciate the depth of the connections. They are not just historical or biblical trivia, either—they reveal the profundity of... Read more
There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in nearly every culture across history: man ritualizes worship. All over the world the similarities are astounding—animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, gifts of grain, the joy of ecstatic praise. It points to a universal sense within man that not only recognizes that there is a God but also knows that man is called to represent the created order before the Creator. This universal orientation toward the divine can help us recognize what it means to become Eucharistic missionaries. A Little World Man is similar to the dust of the earth, the plants that grow,... Read more
“Dad, why does God like it when I suffer? I don’t like it.” This was the question that my five-year-old, Anastasia, posed during a recent dinner at home. As the liturgical seasons ebb and flow and certain penitential days make their appearance (not to mention the year-round meatless Fridays), my wife and I frequently encourage our three little children to offer some small, age-appropriate sacrifices to God. These exhortations, however, gave my little Anastasia the idea that God takes delight in our suffering—a long-debated question spanning multiple creeds. But is it true? If I put up with cold, or heat,... Read more
Recently, a local parish invited me to speak on a panel on vocations for middle and high schoolers. At most of these events, the questions usually include, “What is your day like?” “How often do you see your family?” and “What do you do for fun?” At this parish, the organizers left out a box for anonymous questions and didn’t screen them beforehand. Almost every question began with, “Why can’t I . . .” or “Why doesn’t the Church let me . . .” One of the monks on the panel leaned over and asked me, “Isn’t this supposed to... Read more
In the Latin language there is a saying that could also be applied to our work as catechists: nomen est omen . This means that the name also reflects the inner essence of a person or a thing. In other words, the name speaks for itself. The name of St. John Bosco has become synonymous with good and holy catechesis. In this sense, all reflection on his inspiring life and work can show us what transmitting the faith should look like. Bosco lived in Italy in the 19th century. He was born and grew up in poor circumstances, and from... Read more
The two great commandments are to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself (see Mt 22:36–40). Catholic leaders are called to create and ensconce Catholic culture by striving to fulfill these two great commandments—and to guide the ministries that they lead to do the same. In my role as a high school vice president of faith and mission, I work alongside our principal and president to ensure that our school is a catalyst in the Eucharistic Revival and that the comprehensive operations of our school community serve these two... Read more
One of the most characteristic features of Jesus’ earthly ministry was his performance of miracles, particularly healings and exorcisms. A typical description of this can be found in Mark 1:34: “he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” Jesus’ ability to perform supernatural works made him one of the first “celebrities” of world history; he “could no longer openly enter a town . . . people came to him from every quarter” (Mk 1:45). The miracles served as tangible evidence to his contemporaries that supernatural power was at work in Jesus. Jesus himself pointed... Read more
If someone is married, in love, or has ever been in love, they can likely tell you when they knew they were in love and, more importantly, when they knew their significant other was in love with them. It’s also likely that one of the individuals fell in love first. Their heart had been moved and they had “arrived” to love. After having arrived, they had to do one of the hardest things: they had to wait. Why wait? Well, because love cannot be rushed, and it certainly cannot be forced. It must profoundly respect the freedom of the other... Read more