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The Second Vatican Council Theology Religion Essay

3254 words (13 pages) Essay in Theology

5/12/16 Theology Reference this

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Just a few years (1950’s) after upheaval of World War II (1939-1945), The Western world had experienced a stupefying technical, scientific, and economic expansion that had given countless people occasion to put their trust in material goods even while other millions of people lived in devastating poverty and suffering. Militant atheism abounded, and the world was undergoing a grave spiritual crisis. The Church’s response to the crisis of humanity as it manifested itself in the middle of the twentieth century parallels what John’s Gospel says about the John the Baptist: “He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.

The Second Vatican Council announced by Pope John XXIII on January 25, 1959-1962 became the mechanism of Church renewal, the method by which the Church would increase its participation in the life of Christ and became the symbol of the church’s openness to the modern world. His intention in convoking the Vatican Council was to renew the life of the Church, to reform structures and institutions that needed updating, and to discover ways and means of promoting unity among all Christians, and by directing Christian presence in the world to the works of peace, justice, and well-being. He used the Italian word AGGIORNAMENTO (ppt), its general meaning is “to bring up to date,” “to renew,””to revitalize”. He called the council the “new springtime” (ppt) of life in the Church while remaining loyal to the sacred patrimony of truth, as received from the fathers.

Vatican II “modernized” the Catholic Church. Participation of the laity in the liturgy of the Church was made possible, and the reforms of the liturgy brought the Mass and the sacraments closer to the people so that they can participate more intelligently. ( ppt picture of before and after of the old and new liturgy) The results were immediately experienced most dramatically in the transformation of parish worship into the vernacular languages throughout the world. Vatican II opened scripture more fully for the faithful in their participation in the Church year through the liturgy. It encouraged the laity (through councils) to assist their pastors in the work of the Church and priests (through synods or senates) to assist their bishops, without in any way confusing roles or usurping authority.

Out of Vatican II came (ppt of the 16 documents highlight Lumen Gentium and Gauduim et spes) . Most notable were the constitution “On the Church,” in eight chapters (also called Lumen gentium), It introduced the biblical teaching that the church as a whole was the people of God, including both clergy and laity. This reversed centuries of virtually explicit assertion that the clergy alone were the church. Both laity and clergy, the document affirmed, shared in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly functions of Christ. The decree “On the Laity” and the constitution “On the Church in the Modern World” (also called Gaudium et spes) charged lay people to undertake their work in the world in all walks of life as Christian vocations, as a lay apostolate which shared directly in the continuation of the work of the apostles of Christ (ppt). This too undid centuries of emphasis on the clergy, monks, and nuns as virtually the sole possessors of Christian calling.

Pope Paul VI put it this way: “Our intense desire is to see the Church become what Christ intended it to be: one, holy, and entirely dedicated to the pursuit of that perfection to which Christ called it and for which He qualified it” (Ecclesiam Suam, 41).

Vatican Council II also honored with special love the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, who is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son. In Mary the Church holds up and admires the most excellent fruit of the redemption. In Mary the Church joyfully contemplates, as in a spotless model, that which the Church herself wholly desires and aspires to be.” Following Vatican II, On February 2, 1974, Pope Paul VI issued a magnificent apostolic exhortation ppt (Marialis Cultus) “for the right ordering and development of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

JP II AND VATICAN II

One of the most active Vatican II Council Fathers was a young archbishop from Cracow (Bishop Wojtila). He made a significant contribution to what was to become the Pastoral Constitution of the Council Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the Modern World, and to the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium. All this was to be of use in preparing for his future responsibilities of the Successor of Peter.

In describing the main orientation of his pontificate Pope John Paul II declared in Mexico City on May 6, 1990, “The Lord and Master of history and of our destinies has wished my pontificate to be that of a pilgrim pope of evangelization walking down the roads of the world bringing to all peoples the message of salvation.” (Video of JPII and his visits all over the world) Utube – Venerable John Paul II: The record breaking pope (2:31 min)

Since the beginning of his pontificate the Pope undertook over eighty missionary trips. He led the people of God into the third millennium with the conviction that the ‘nineties’ were an extended season of advent leading us to the Great Jubilee of the Incarnation. He believed that the new evangelization is very much tied up with “entering a new missionary age, which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries and young Churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time.”

After the voyage in Poland in 1991, the Pope noticed that, during the Mass in Warsaw, in the farthest parts, the young people came and went away, drank beer or coca-cola, and came back. He was always conscious not only of the VIPs, but the “margins” and placed importance on what he observed. He started the World Youth Day (ppt of images of the World Youth Day), and the Pope gave his support to various forms of activity of the lay people in the life and mission of the Church. This paved the way to the very meaningful initiatives, some years later, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI such as the holding in September 2010 in Korea, of an important Congress for the lay Catholics of Asia; the meetings of African bishops who are ever more encouraging the lay people to hold positions of responsibility in the sectors of evangelization, social activity and in the Church’s educational sphere; and the significant presence of lay Catholics in the continental Mission of Latin America.

The Witness of the Saints (ppt of Saints from various continents canonized during the term of JP II )

Pope John Paul II canonized numerous saints, and beatified blessed. He believed that the Holy Spirit raises up saints who show us precisely what doctrine lived looks like, setting the good of a fully human life before all those who seek precisely such a meaningful existence. “The very testimony of their Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief and to God; for the Lord says, ‘Even so let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’.

New Evangelization

“The expression New Evangelization was popularized in the encylical of Pope Paul VI (ppt) Evangelization in the Modern World (Evangelii Nuntiandi) , as a response to the new challenges-that the contemporary world creates for the mission of the Church.” Pope Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation stated, “We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. (Ppt) Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize.

Pope John Paul II saw the need for a “great relaunching” of evangelization in the present life of the Church in a variety of ways. In (ppt) Mission of The Redeemer (Redemptoris Missio ), the Pope presented a new synthesis of the Church’s teaching about evangelization in modern times.

When Pope John Paul II used the term “a new evangelization” he did not mean a new message. “Evangelization cannot be new in its content since its very theme is always the one gospel given in Jesus Christ.” He noted that there are a diversity of activities in the Church’s one mission. He stated that evangelization should not be limited to individual unbelievers but also addressed to non-practicing Christians and to entire cultures (those that need re-evangelizing and those who do not yet believe in Christ). When the popes talks about evangelization that is new, it is about (ppt) “evangelization with a new ardor, methods and expression.” It must be adapted to the people of our day.

Pope John Paul II would carry this theme forward by saying that in order for the Church (ppt) to be an evangelizing community she must first be an evangelized community. Before the Church can play a role in leading others to conversion the faithful must be converted. Missionary activity, declares the pope, renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. (ppt) Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!”

In Redemptoris Missio John Paul II sketches out some of the characteristics of the new evangelization. (ppt with relevant images)

New Evangelization is Christocentric- founded on the person of Jesus Christ and His gospel

The New Evangelization is the responsibility of the entire People of God.

The New Evangelization is not just for the foreign missions – both situations needing primary evangelization (ad gentes), and re-evangelization, or pastoral care

The New Evangelization is directed to individuals and to whole cultures. – The intimate transformation of authentic cultural values through the integration in Christianity and the insertion of Christianity in the various human cultures leading to, “a civilization of love.”

The New Evangelization is not limited to the presentation of the basic Gospel message (kerygma) but is a comprehensive process of Christianization. – involves catechetical instruction, moral doctrine and the social teaching of the Church. They are joined to God through the sacraments and the Church community.

The New Evangelization calls for a missionary spirituality – The fundamental activity of those called to be missionaries is receptivity to God, of complete docility to the Holy Spirit. Receiving is the condition for doing the work of an evangelist. According to JP II, In order to pass on the Gospel to others it must have first permeated our lives.

The pope’s call to a new evangelization is a prophetic and revolutionary calling to the Roman Catholic Church. From the time of JPII to Pope Benedict XVI, the Church continues to re-directed, re-focus its priorities, and commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to (ppt) proclaim Christ to all peoples.”

The Clergy and Laity: Partners in New Evangelization

Role of media in evangelization

Fr Robert Barron (Catholicism Series)

Great adventure Bible series ( ppt pictures or clips)

Movies: (clips from The passion Christ, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Les Miserables and video of Fr Robert Barron’s review of Les Miserables)

Social Media – internet, FB, Twitter, Utube, pod casts, radio, TV (ppt pictures)

Theology of the Body

Christopher West (clips from the CFC conference)

Youth (clips from Fam Min – international faces)

Missio ad gentes (clips/pictures from foreign mission)

Conclusion:

Pope Benedict has made Christian joy a central theme of his pontificate and of the Year of Faith in particular. In this he shows the continuity of his pontificate with that of his predecessor, John Paul II, and through him with Paul VI and Vatican II. Joy is the language of human happiness. A fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Gal 5:22), it accompanies the faith that receives the Good News of God’s love fully revealed in Jesus Christ.

Most recently (2012), the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization was convened by Pope Benedict. His message to the People of God is to proclaim that the Church continues Christ’s mission by accompanying mankind in its search for meaning. “It draws light from a Gospel passage: Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman (cf. John 4:5-42). There is no man or woman who, in one’s life, would not find oneself like the woman of Samaria beside a well with an empty bucket, with the hope of finding the fulfillment of the heart’s most profound desire, that which alone could give full meaning to existence. Today, many wells offer themselves to quench humanity’s thirst, but we must discern in order to avoid polluted waters. We must orient the search well, so as not to fall prey to disappointment, which can be disastrous.”

In the document summarizing the Synod, it says that “like Jesus at the well of Sychar, the Church also feels obliged to sit beside today’s men and women. She wants to render the Lord present in their lives so that they could encounter him because he alone is the water that gives true and eternal life. Only Jesus can read the depths of our heart and reveal the truth about ourselves: “He told me everything I have done”, the woman confesses to her fellow citizens. The sinner who was converted becomes a messenger of salvation and leads the whole city to Jesus. The people pass from welcoming her testimony to personally experiencing the encounter: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world”.”

Pope Benedict XVI makes an appeal “that a new generation of Catholics inwardly renewed may rise. ( Creatives: representatives of groups of people coming on stage as a response to the call of the Pope) He called on Catholics to commit themselves in politics without any inferiority complex. He goes on to call for a new generation of good intellectuals and scientists, attentive to the fact “that a scientific perspective that ignores the ethical and religious dimension of life becomes dangerously narrow (London, St. Mary’s College, 17th September 2010); the Pope calls for a “new generation of committed Christian laypeople capable of seeking, with competency and moral rigor, solutions of sustainable development” (7th September 2008). He called on the Catholic youth to become so strong in the faith – not beset by confusion or misunderstandings, but looking beyond the human failings of individual members of the Church and striving for personal perfection in Christ Jesus – that the reality and the sanctity of the Church, its true face, will truly be known and loved by all the world.

As we look to the future we can know that, as in the past, Satan and the forces of evil will always be there, attempting to destroy the Church The history of the Catholic Church will always be full of pages of great and lesser saints who testify to that mark of the Church we call holiness.

The Church of tomorrow will be the same as the Church of yesterday, of the last century, and of the first century. But like a newly conceived human life in its mother’s womb, is a continuum, still the same life when it is born as it is one hour, one day, or fifty or eighty years later. So the Catholic Church, Christ’s Mystical Body of today and the future, will always b the same Church Jesus Christ founded twenty centuries ago. Individual members of the laity, religious, priests, bishops, and our Holy Father the pope change with the passage of years. Still, it is the same Church, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”( ppt) We are a Church Alive, throbbing with vibrant life! It is of Christ, the God-Man himself. It is human, and also divine. With the eyes of faith, each member must see beyond its human quality and witness the inner divine reality which is Christ’s Mystical Body.

It will always retain its oneness, its catholicity (universality), and always remain apostolic; the only Church built upon the apostles and promised that “the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.”

Ending Song ( Jubilee Song) – (refer to previous Icon during the Jubilee year and make it a relaunch of new evangelization with new choreography perhaps a new arrangement) – review the utube version of Donna Cruz and come up with our own version with relevant new evangelization images. Can we add verses ??

The Jubilee Song lyrics

It’s a time of joy, a time of peace

A time when hearts are then set free

A time to heal the wounds of division

It’s a time of grace, a time of hope

A time of sharing the gifts we have

A time to build the world that is one

It’s the time to give thanks to the Father, Son and Spirit

And with Mary, our Mother, we sing this song

Open your hearts to the Lord and begin to see the mystery

That we are all together as one family

No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness and closed doors

For we are in the fullness of God’s time

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee

It’s a time of prayer, a time of praise

A time to lift our hands to God

A time to recall all our graces

It’s a time to touch, time to reach

Those hearts that often wonder

A time to bring them back to God’s embrace

It’s the time to give thanks to the Father, Son and Spirit

And with Mary, our Mother, we sing this song

Open your hearts to the Lord and begin to see the mystery

That we are all together as one family

No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness and closed doors

For we are in the fullness of God’s time

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee

Open your hearts to the Lord and begin to see the mystery

That we are all together as one family

No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness and closed doors

For we are in the fullness of God’s time

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee…

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