GDC 34: “The missionary mandate of Jesus”

Starting today, we dive into the heart of the General Directory for Catechesis. Part One, “Catechesis in the Church’s mission of evangelization,” covers numbered sections 34 through 91 in three chapters.

This Scripture-heavy section introduces the response to the first of yesterday’s (GDC 33) challenges, that of placing catechesis at the service of the missionary apostolate of the Church:

“Go into all the world; and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15).
“Go, therefore make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).
“You are witnesses of these things” (Lk 24:48); “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses… to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

34. Jesus Christ, after his Resurrection together with the Father sent the Holy Spirit in order that he might accomplish from within the work of salvation and that he might animate his disciples to continue the mission to the whole world.

He was the first and supreme evangelizer. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God,(Cf. Mk 1:15 and parallels. Redemptoris Missio 12-20; CCC 541-560) as the urgent and definitive intervention of God in history, and defined this proclamation “the Gospel”, that is, the Good News. To this Gospel, Jesus devoted his entire earthly life: he made known the joy of belonging to the Kingdom,(Cf. Mt 5:3-12) its demands, its magna carta,(Cf. Mt 5,1-7,29) the mysteries which it embraces,(Cf. Mt 13:11) the life of fraternal charity of those who enter it (Cf. Mt 18:1-35) and its future fulfilment.(Cf. Mt 24:1-25,46)

The reference to the Sermon on the Mount as the Magna Carta of the Reign of God was a little striking to me. I do see where the authors are going with describing these three chapters of Matthew’s Gospel as foundational to the Christian life.

For the next several weeks, we’ll be examining the intersection between catechesis and evangelization. Some Catholics get nervous about that latter term. They shouldn’t. Good news is nothing about which to be nervous. We can call it whatever we want, but the terminology is secondary to the doing of it. Get ready to examine some territory that has been lightly explored as of late, but which is essential to the future vibrancy of the Church.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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