Does “Good News” Call for Change?

by | Sep 16, 2020 | Formation, Reflections, Systemic change | 1 comment

Good News

Everyone loves ”good news”! Especially now, we seem to have a very deep need for good news.  We are under so much stress.  But what is “good news”?  It varies. Since I live in Philadelphia but was born in New York I can vouch for the fact that what is good for a New York Mets fan is different from what is good for a Philadelphia Phillies fan – especially when they play one another.

My question about “Good News” runs much deeper. Where do I find good news not only for each and every person but for each person no matter what they experience in life? I believe truly good news is an encounter that is transforming. So I invite you to think about your own transforming experiences, the awareness of being loved. Also, think about the changes that come with such transforming encounters

Experiences of transformation

Hopefully, you have had an encounter of transforming love.

  • The mother or father who loved you unconditionally and was always there for you especially when you were frightened, discouraged by your mistakes, etc.
  • The spouse who chose you not because of what you could do for them but simply because they loved you and saw something in you that maybe even you had not seen.

I believe the gospels witness to Jesus communicating that kind of transforming awareness of being loved.

  • Why else would people drop their nets and follow him?
  • Why else would they tell their brothers and sisters and friends about their meeting with him?
  • Why else would the woman at the well excitedly say, “he knows everything about me and yet he loves me”?

This is true of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and so many others in the pages of the New Testament who recount their encounters with Jesus. His disciples experienced a transforming awareness of being loved… and ran to tell others about it!

It was their beginning experience becoming aware of being loved that transformed their lives and… in the process… how they lived their lives.

Catechetical Sunday 9/20/2020

I suspect that many when they hear the words “Catechetical Sunday” think of their days in religious instruction or catechism. But it is so much more.

Cardinal Fischiella introduced the new “Directory for Catechesis” with the following statements.

  • For too long catechesis has focused on making the contents of the faith known and on the best pedagogical methods by which to reach this end, omitting the most crucial moment which is the act of deciding for faith and the giving of one’s assent.
  • The heart of catechesis is the announcement of the person of Jesus Christ, who surpasses the limits of space and time to present himself to each generation as the good news offered to reach the meaning of life.
  • This type of catechesis allows us to discover that, before it is a moral proposal, faith is really an encounter with a person and that Christianity is not a religion of the past, but an event of the present.
  • A fundamental characteristic emerges which catechesis must make its own: mercy… the Father’s mercy directed at the sinner who is no longer considered as an excluded person, but as a privileged guest at the banquet of salvation, which consists in the forgiveness of sins.
  • The experience of the catechumenate acquires force as experience of the forgiveness offered and of the new life of communion with God which ensues.

This kind of catechesis enables each one to experience the transforming presence of God in our lives.

My personal catechetical directory…

  • Is my view of catechesis geared to fostering a transformative encounter with God in Jesus?
  • Do I see myself in a catechumenate process of becoming aware of a transforming encounter with God in Christ today?


1 Comment

  1. marguerite. broderick

    Saw this on your Mindwalk, Fr. John. Will be bringing it up with the Seminary as we study
    how Jesus taught his disciples about the Father. Many thanks.