GMD 56-60: Third Goal–Inspiring Values

Go and Make Disciples 56 introduces the third goal of evangelization. The four sections that follow go into a bit more detail on this. Recent events, plus the witness of Pope Francis seem to suggest that Christian witness must go beyond merely parroting the words of others in stating where we Christians are right and how others are wrong.

Goal III: To foster gospel values in our society,

  • promoting the dignity of the human person,
  • the importance of the family, and
  • the common good of our society,

so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ. (GMD 56)

The US bishops cite two popes, Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi that the Gospel confronts and challenges the culture at times. John Paul II wrote:

… to teach and spread her social doctrine pertains to the Church’s evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message, since this doctrine points out the direct consequences of that message in the life of society and situates daily work and struggles for justice in the context of bearing witness to Christ the Savior. (Centesimus Annus 5)

As a liturgist, this brings to mind the theological underpinnings of the Lenten Scrutinies, which are intended “to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good.” (RCIA 141) My sense is that the affirmation of the “upright, strong, and good” aspects of our culture is essential to ensuring a fair hearing of the Gospel message. Especially when the litany of problems (materialism … sexism … racism … consumerism … individualism run wild … ethic of selfishness … neglect of the poor and weak … disregard of human life, and … endless chase after empty fads and immediate pleasures) runs as long as it does. (Cf. GMD 58)

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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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