The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Scriptural Catechesis

Evangelizers t hus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice. ( Evangelii Guadium, 24) Today when we hear the words disciple or discipleship these words have a specific religious connotation. We would normally not describe an apprentice plumber or student teacher as a disciple. In the world of the New Testament these words had a much wider usage. Among the ancient Greek philosophers, disciples learned by imitating the teacher’s entire way of life and not just by remembering the spoken words of the teacher. This is completely different from our modern... Read more
Fr. Paul Watson explains the significance to the Sabbath as portrayed in this miracle. He went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing... Read more
French catechist and theologian, Waltraud Linnig, offers us three doors into reading and teaching the Bible and three keys for opening these doors. Part 1 follows. In this article I would like to propose ways of opening the Bible and entering into it. Perhaps you will ask me why I want to do this, because it is so easy to open this book! It’s like all the other books and if you know the language of a book you can read it. This Bible is written in English, so there’s no problem. However… For many Catholics, the sacred book is... Read more
Jason Gale explains how the Credo ultimately contains only a single dogma, whose mystery can and must be spread out in many aspects. There is a direct relationship between the person of Christ and the one Deposit of Faith. In catechesis, we say that we teach Christ, but we also say that we teach the Catholic Faith. The Creed, Sacraments, morality, and prayer not only describe what is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church , but also summarize for us God and his plan for salvation. This plan is fully revealed and receives its power in Jesus Christ... Read more
Msgr. Paul Watson proposes that we catechise on two ‘new creation’ events that are linked to Elijah. The reader may by puzzled by the decision to link together the two incidents of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36 and parallels) and the raising of the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-17). There are two reasons for this decision. In the first place, both miracles are what C.S.Lewis would classify as ‘new creation’ miracles; and secondly, the two events are linked through reference to Elijah. New Creation miracles In previous articles we have considered two ‘old creation’ miracles - that is, miracles in... Read more
C a tec h i s i ng on the Person of Christ, and confidently proclaiming and explaining his divinity, is central to the work of catechesis. Here, Fr Conrad helps us to see how to draw upon the New Testament in order to ground and source our teaching. In one sense, we know what doctrines we will find in Scripture before we read it because we read Scripture from the standpoint of the Faith of the Church. And this is as it should be. The Bible was not dictated from Heaven in the way the Koran is supposed to... Read more
Mark 1:40-45 In 1515, the artist, Mattias Grünewald, completed a work that came to be known as the Isenheim Altarpiece. It is a complicated structure of painted panels which include a vivid and rather gruesome depiction of the Crucifixion. The altarpiece was produced for the hospital chapel of St Anthony’s Monastery as Isenheim in Alsace. The hospital was dedicated to the care of patients suffering from particularly unpleasant diseases such as leprosy and St Anthony’s Fire. What is striking about the depiction of Christ is that his body bears the same sort of infirmities as those of the patients of... Read more
In this series on the Miracles of Jesus we have been exploring the whole question of the possibility of miracles by examining the approach of C.S. Lewis. We have seen that the idea that Nature accounts for all that exists is in the end untenable. Reason or rationality cannot be explained within the cause and effect relationship of natural processes. Rationality is something outside of Nature, which acts upon it – giving meaning and purpose. Giving Meaning and Purpose From the basis of the human experience of Rationality acting from outside upon Nature, Lewis discusses whether this should be properly... Read more
In the first articles of this series on the miracles of Jesus we briefly explored the miracle of turning water into wine at Cana in Galilee. That miracle is classified by C.S.Lewis as a miracle of fertility and as a miracle of the Old Creation. Describing it in this way focuses attention upon the fact that a gospel miracle is a local and sudden occurrence of something that God is always doing in Nature. It is the sudden and nature of the specific action that testifies to the divine person of Jesus Christ, and that leads us to describe the... Read more
The Great Miracle: The Incarnation ‘The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, exhibits this, or results from this. …every Christian miracle manifests at a particular place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation.’ (C.S.Lewis, Miracles ) The Central Miracle Before examining the particular miracles of Jesus, it would be good to consider what Lewis calls the ‘central miracle.’ He maintains that ‘all discussion of them (particular miracles) in isolation from it is futile’. To illustrate his argument, Lewis puts forward an analogy. Supposing that... Read more