Catechesis the Key to Evangelisation
Catechesis, as we all know, is the traditional Catholic instruction of faith through Christ which is given to all Christians, especially when preparing for the sacrament of confirmation.
An effective catechesis is way beyond recitation of doctrinal instructions or formulas (as most obviously practised in our Catholic world today). It is also a tool to be focused and reflected on daily for a fervent reinstatement of our faith in Christ Jesus.
The faithful of this 21st century seemingly are ignoring that catechesis is a basic guidance to lead us to God’s words on how best to remain faithful to him and walk daily in his grace in all steps of our lives through the interpretations of Holy Scriptures.
In Nigeria, for instance, ignorance of the effectiveness of the catechesis has led to the loss of many Catholic faithful.
A priest once described the way we treat the catechesis as “a very thirsty man who is swimming in the purest of waters and refusing to drink of it”.
Catechesis is an evangelising tool which goes far beyond one man, one family, one community or one nation. It is meant to reach all nations, as evangelisation is an on-going attempt to fulfil the mandate given to the Church by Christ to make disciples of all nations. It cannot be a finite action with an endpoint; it is a continuous process that the Church must carry out until the end of time.
Yes, it is great if we can recite the various prayers and formulas well, but it will be better if we can make the contents of the words a habit in our daily lives.
Although the methodology, strategy and scope of catechetics may be quite elastic and flexible, the content is sacrosanct.
But we must be flexible. The world is changing so rapidly that most of the evangelisation methods used in the past are becoming less effective.
At the same time, some of the old methods remain valid and useful for all times.
We need to evangelise through our catechetical activities, as well as turning evangelisation into a means of catechesis.
That is important because even Catholics need on-going formation to keep them rooted in the household of faith—and to turn them into evangelisers, too.
Parish catechetics and external evangelisation efforts and outreach are the obvious forms of evangelisation, as are ministries of seed planting and of invitation and connection, and so on.
More often neglected is family evangelism.
The family is the most primary and vital place for catechesis. If it is lost in your family, seek a way to reinstate it, as it is the vital tool to the success of your family in Christ Jesus.
When love, happiness, luxury, earthly success can no longer hold the family together, Jesus and your faith in him as a family will.
Evangelisation is a call on all Catholic faithful, young and old, to a personal and life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ through the Church. It encourages us to hear the Gospel and deepen our understanding of the teachings of the Church, to apply that wisdom to lived Christian witness, and in turn to evangelise those around us and the society in which we live.