Articles Under: Scriptural Catechesis

There is a particularly unnerving paragraph for catechists in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is paragraph 428 and it begins, “Whoever is called ‘to teach Christ’ …” The two paragraphs above it, 426 and 427, quote from Catechesi Tradendae and are very well known. This one is rarely seen quoted anywhere and is unique in what it teaches about the catechist. Whoever is called “to teach Christ” must first seek “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus”; he must suffer “the loss of all things...” in order to “gain Christ and be found in him,” and “to know... Read more
“Were our hearts not burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32) These are the words the two disciples of Emmaus use to report their encounter with the risen Christ. In a similar way, it is not at all uncommon—rather, it is to be expected—that those who have recently encountered Christ have a noticeable interest in Holy Scripture. Accordingly, catechists have the indispensable task of helping these new disciples to approach the Scripture with the mind of the Church, imparting to them the tools they need for an authentic... Read more
Are not the words “missionary” and “disciple,” in reality, opposites? It seems, on the one hand, that “disciple” implies remaining with, being with: passivity, contemplation, learning, etc. On the other hand, “mission” seems to imply just the opposite, a being sent, going out, going forth: activity, work, doing, etc. Pope Benedict XVI also comments on this apparent contradiction, saying, “Being with Jesus and being sent by him seem at first sight mutually exclusive...” [1] Can these words legitimately stand together? If so, how? This article, though unable to provide a comprehensive study, will survey the main lines of Joseph Cardinal... Read more
The Jewish feasts commemorate God’s sovereign deliverance of his people from Egypt and his providential care for them throughout the Exodus. Yet as important as these holy days are for Jews, they are also significant for Christians, for they foreshadow God's plan of salvation for the world in Christ. The meaning of the Jewish feasts, along with their messianic and typological fulfillment for Christians, is the subject of the present article—the first of two parts. The Seven Mosaic Feasts Israel’s liturgical calendar comprises seven divinely instituted festivals. [i] As outlined in Leviticus chapter 23, these are grouped in three major... Read more
Wonderful Words of Life Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life; Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life; Words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty. Sweetly echoes the Gospel call, wonderful words of life; Offering pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life; Jesus only Savior, sanctify us forever, Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of life; Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of life. [1] This favorite hymn from my childhood affirms the life-giving power of God’s Word. The hymn’s simple lyrics lavishly praise Scripture’s goodness and beauty... Read more
During the ordination rite of a man who is becoming a deacon, the bishop presents him with a Book of the Gospels. This presentation hassignificance as it symbolizes the new preoccupation of his ecclesial activity: proclamation, preaching, and instruction. In light of this presentation of the Gospels, a deacon’s imagination ought to now draw spiritual life primarily from Scripture. Utilizing such an imagination he ought to become one of his diocese’s best pastoral instructors in Word and doctrine. Deacons can, therefore, consider three vocational truths: first, the deacon is empowered to proclaim the Gospel at Mass; second, he is obligated... Read more
People often ask me, an evangelical convert to the Catholic Church twenty years ago, what made me want to become Catholic. Because my husband and I flirted with the idea of conversion over the course of ten years, there are many possible responses. However, it has always been clear to me that there was one event that changed everything for us, overcoming any lingering questions or queasiness we had about such a dramatic decision. A friend gave us a copy of the newly translated English version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church . We read it from cover to... Read more
Since I make my living by teaching the Bible to college students, I’m often asked to give talks on teaching Scripture, biblical catechesis, or some related theme. Over the years, I’ve given a lot of thought to what is most important when engaged in the sacred act of communicating the Word of God to other people. Obviously, most people engaged in teaching the Bible on behalf of the Church—whether priests, catechists, religion teachers, etc.—can’t devote their entire lives to Scripture study and sorting out all the challenges of interpreting the Bible. Despite that, is it still possible to do a... Read more
God is love. Not only is it true that God loves, but God IS love. Through all of eternity and all of time, God is pure self-gift, which is true love’s essence. From infinite love, God created so that human beings could live in this love and know the joy that comes from total self-donation. When they chose instead the way of grasping, the way of self-assertion, reaching out to take for themselves what was offered as gift, they fell from love. With God, nothing is—in time—irreversibly lost. Divine Love initiated a plan to redeem us, to heal us of... Read more
What is the significance of St. John Paul’s statement that the Catechism was published in order to enable catechesis to be renewed at the “ living sources of the faith ”? [i] The Living Sources Most importantly, St. John Paul draws our attention to the action of the Trinity in catechesis. The “living Sources” are the Persons of the Trinity. The sources we seek, and from which our catechesis is perpetually renewed, are not in the past but in the living present. Christ comes to reveal the face and love of the Father. [ii] Christ himself is the teacher, speaking... Read more