Courageous Catholics Participant Guide


Published on

Courageous Catholic takes all of the successful tools and ministry resources that CCO has developed since 1988 and has crafted it into a program for parish evangelization. This 10 week program is an expression of twenty five years of fruitful outreach and leadership formation on Canadian campuses.

Our goal is not just to share the message of Jesus, but to spread his mission. This mission is to form apostles – believers who, through the empowerment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, send others to proclaim the message. This multiplication strategy comes from scriptural models which will be expounded in the study.

The print material, which includes both leader and participant guides, are completed and we are looking for funding to complete the video portion of the program. The videos offer direct wisdom from CCO Founders Andre and Angele Regnier, along with illustrations to further the understanding of the teaching.

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Courageous Catholics Participant Guide

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. Courageous Catholic Participant Guide Created and published by Catholic Christian Outreach Canada. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Catholic Christian Outreach Canada. Box 39109 Ottawa, ON K1H 7X0 Canada Phone: 613-736-1999 Fax: 613-736-1800 Printed in Canada. 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. The Courageous Catholic program is an adaptation of the Commission study, which is the fifth study in the Catholic Christian Outreach Faith Study Series. ____________________________________ th th Quotations from: Pope John Paul II messages to the youth for the 7 and 17 World Youth Days, Incarnationis Mysterium, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Address of his Holiness John Paul II to the Bishops of the United States of America on their "ad Limina" visit March 20 1993, Deus Caritas Est, Apostolic Letter Ubicumque et Semper, Decree on the Apostolate of Laity, Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church, Verbum Domini, Redemptoris Missio, Lineamenta for 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization and Catechism of the Catholic Church, used with permission from Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Pope Benedict XVI, On Christian Unity in 2009, "When He Wishes and When We Are Prepared, [God] Will Create Unity". Used with permission., Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, I Believe in Love, Sophia Institute Press 2001 (English translation by Marilyn Teichert and Madeleine Stebbins of Croire á L’Amour. All rights reserved. Used with permission. This book can be ordered at or by calling 1-800-888-9344. Referenced from The New Evangelization: Overcoming the Obstacles, edited by Steven Boguslawski, OP and Ralph Martin. Copyright © 2008 by the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of Detroit. Paulist Press, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc. Excerpt from Evangelization for the Third Millennium, by Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ. Copyright © 2009 by New York Province of the Society of Jesus. Paulist Press, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. Reprinted with permission of Paulist Press, Inc. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The excerpt regarding Dr. Peter Kreeft at Boston College is used with permission from Dr. Peter Kreeft, May 2002. Fr. Bob Bedard, CC (founder), quoted with permission from Companions of the Cross. All rights reserved. Merriam Webster Dictionary, _____________________________________ The image on the cover of the Courageous Catholic booklet is of the hand of St. Peter, stretched towards the horizon. This statue is found in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. He holds the keys of the Church in his fingers and points to the world, representing the mandate of all baptized Catholics to go and reach the lost with the Gospel. St. Peter’s arm is stretched out in an image of the strength and courage offered to those who respond generously to the call. Our confidence comes in knowing the authority of the Church, an authority against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. Image © Mark Burdett 2008 Cover Design © Chris Pecora 2011 5
  6. 6. Dedication to John Paul II All CCO staff and students would agree that laced throughout our formation on evangelization is the teaching and heart of Pope John Paul II as exemplified in his various addresses to the youth of the world and, in particular, his encyclical Redemptoris Missio. During the early formative years of CCO, André and Angèle Regnier regularly immersed themselves in John Paul II’s writings as published in the magazine The Pope Speaks. As a result, CCO has endeavoured to put into action what John Paul II taught about the missionary identity of the Church. In 2002, CCO was honoured to receive a personal letter of encouragement from the Holy Father following World Youth Day (see a copy of the text on the next page). Three years later, CCO members, gathered at our national student conference, sent the Pope a pledge signed by nearly 400 young people. Through this pledge, they committed themselves to the Pope’s World Youth Day Toronto vision of “a new generation of builders” and promised to join in the work of evangelization. Canada’s Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, forwarded the pledge to John Paul II while he was ill in the Gemelli Poly-Clinic in Rome. As we now know, the Pope had only a few more months to live. Shortly after the message was sent, Archbishop Ventura wrote to CCO: I am pleased to inform you that your message was presented to the Pope by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, his private secretary. The Holy Father has responded in turn by signing, in his own hand, a copy of the text and returning it to you, as an expression of recognition to the organizers of the initiative and all those who participated. With great affection and admiration, the Commission, the faith study from which the Courageous Catholic program was adapted, is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Blessed Pope John Paul II. We thank God for the privilege to be formed under his leadership, and in his ‘school of evangelization.’ 6
  7. 7. The following is a letter written and signed personally by His Holiness, Blessed Pope John Paul II, to Catholic Christian Outreach Canada on the occasion of the Rise Up 2002 Christmas Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. From the Vatican, December 28, 2002. It is a great joy for me to greet you on the occasion of your National Christmas Conference. The memory of my meeting with you and so many other young people from around the world in July of this year remains vividly etched in my mind. At the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil held in Downsview Park on Saturday, the evening of July 27, I called for a new generation of builders to respond to the aspiration of humanity for a civilization of love marked by freedom and peace. Indeed I entrusted this hope of mine specifically to you, my dear young people. As members of the Catholic Christian Outreach you are generously responding to that appeal through your courage to be disciples of Jesus, living the life of the Beatitudes on campuses throughout Canada. In this way, as you strive to be the salt of the earth and light of the world for others, you become shining beacons illuminating the way of the Lord, answering the question that stirs in the hearts of all young people: "to whom shall we go?" (Jn 6:68). Yes, Jesus Christ is the sure foundation of your hope and joy. Immersed in him and his paschal mystery your own lives will grow in holiness, which is the authentic path of true witness to the light of his loving presence in our world. And so I confidently renew my appeal to you: listen to the voice of Jesus! Let His light shine in your lives, continue steadfastly on the path of holiness, share with everyone "the good news of a great joy which will come to all the people" (Lk 2:10). Invoking upon all of you the joy and peace that the birth of our Savior brings, I cordially impart to you and your families my Apostolic Blessing. JOANNES PAULUS PP. II 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. Table of Contents Dedication 6 Introduction 10 Lesson 1 – Orientation and Premise 12 Orientation to the program. Recognizing that evangelization is our deepest identity. Lesson 2 – CCO 101 21 Review of St. Catherine's bridge illustration and the relationship diagrams as used extensively in CCO's evangelization. Lesson 3 – Holiness and Mission 26 Understanding the interdependence of holiness and mission and an Introduction to the Paul-Timothy model in 2 Timothy 2:2 Lesson 4 – The Message 33 Comprehending the necessity of clearly and simply proclaiming the kerygma Lesson 5 – The Message and You 39 Recognizing how we have experienced God's saving action in our own lives. Lesson 6 – Heart for the Lost 47 Uniting with God’s heart of compassion and concern for those who are far from him. Lesson 7 – Understanding “Timothy” 54 Taking into consideration the perspective and experience of those we want to evangelize. Lesson 8 – See Opportunities 59 Identifying people and situations in my sphere of influence that could be transformed through the clear proclamation of Jesus. Lesson 9 – Next Generation Mindset 66 Understanding a ministry of spiritual multiplication. Lesson 10 – Struggles and Doubts 71 Examining common areas of discouragement for missionaries Lesson 11 – Commissioned 77 Recognizing, with great expectations, the work of the Holy Spirit both in the evangelizer and the one being evangelized. Appendix 86 Personal Opportunities Worksheet 87 Preparing a Personal Testimony 91 Leading Your Own Discovery Group 93 9
  10. 10. Introduction Courageous Catholic is an adaptation of the Commission faith study written by Catholic Christian Outreach. Commission is the fifth study in the Catholic Christian Outreach Faith Study Series. In its development stages it was piloted in three cities as a diocesanwide training component for parish leaders in our domestic summer mission called Impact Canada. Courageous Catholic is an expression of more than twenty years of outreach and leadership formation on Canadian campuses. In our evangelization efforts, we strive to identify with people, and celebrate the beauty and good in each individual. We also look for appropriate opportunities to lovingly introduce these people to Jesus in a nonjudgmental, relevant, clear and simple way. We also believe that the principals we have learned over the years in our studying and experience are applicable off campus and can be integrated in other ministries, parishes and in one's personal outreach efforts. The three pillars of CCO are to proclaim, equip and commission. It is our belief that a clear and simple proclamation of the Good News of Jesus is urgently needed in the world, even among Catholics; this is the mandate of the new evangelization. Having proclaimed the Gospel, we then seek to equip those who have experienced conversion with the necessary skills to evangelize others. We hope that through this Courageous Catholic program our alumni, supporters and friends will internalize and put into action the great task Jesus gave his disciples, “to go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). Our goal is not just to share the message of Jesus, but to spread his mission. This mission is to form apostles – believers who, through the empowerment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, send others to proclaim the message. This multiplication strategy comes from scriptural models which will be expounded in the study. Since the present study can offer only a summary of the Church’s teaching on the new evangelization, we strongly recommend some background reading on this topic, namely, the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi by Pope Paul VI and the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio by Pope John Paul II. (These documents can be found on the Vatican website: I Believe in Love, by Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, is another text that expounds ideas briefly presented in this study. Many of the dispositions CCO members strive to embody in their missionary work come from the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Fr. d’Elbée beautifully articulates St. Thérèse’s spirituality in this book. In fact, all three of these works are required reading for CCO full-time lay missionaries. It would also be expected that participants have completed CCO’s Discovery study in order to understand the concepts and illustrations referenced repeatedly in the program We hope that as you study this material and take it to prayer, the Father will commission you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to send others out to boldly proclaim that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 10
  11. 11. Courageous Catholic Small Group Information Time: Place: Study Group Leader: Phone Number: Email: Study Group Members: 11
  12. 12. Lesson 1 Orientation and Premise Outline Introduction to the Program MC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Courageous Catholic and Key Terms Video - 25 minutes Small Groups - 15 minutes Break - 15 minutes Deepest Identity Video - 30 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes 12
  13. 13. Introduction to the Program The table of contents gives us a helpful outline to the topics of each lesson. Together these lessons build upon each other to accomplish the overall goals that we have for you:         To be convinced of the centrality of evangelization to the life and identity of the Church and us, as the people of God. To have a heart of compassion and concern for those who need to personally encounter God's love and mercy. To gain understanding as to why some people are far away from God and the Church, and how to best relate to them. To make evangelization a desired, uniting purpose of all parish ministries. To identify opportunities for evangelization in your ministries, and with your friends and acquaintances. To become familiar with practical tools which can help you to be able to communicate a clear and simple gospel message, such as: The Ultimate Relationship booklet, the Discovery study, and developing a concise personal testimony. To multiply your efforts through entrusting this mission and message to other faithful people. To encounter and understand the primacy of the Holy Spirit in the work of evangelization. 13
  14. 14. Courageous Catholic and Key Terms The Gospel In referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings. The Gospel is much more; it is a living and efficacious Word, which accomplishes what it says. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts, much less a political programme, but a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became man. The Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, not only does the Gospel have Jesus Christ as its content; but even more, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is also the promoter and the centre of its proclamation and transmission. Consequently, the goal of the transmission of the faith is the realization of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in the Spirit, thereby leading to an experiencing of his Father and our Father. Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions for this personal encounter of individuals with Jesus Christ. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 11 14
  15. 15. Courageous Catholic and Key Terms - continued New Evangelization [T]he new evangelization is not a matter of redoing something which has been inadequately done or has not achieved its purpose, as if the new activity were an implicit judgment on the failure of the first evangelization. Nor is the new evangelization taking up the first evangelization again, or simply repeating the past. Instead, it is the courage to forge new paths in responding to the changing circumstances and conditions facing the Church in her call to proclaim and live the Gospel today.... Pope John Paul II again took up the expression in his Magisterium and proposed it to the universal Church. "Today the Church must face other challenges and push forward to new frontiers, both in the initial mission ad gentes and in the new evangelization of those peoples who have already heard Christ proclaimed....” The Church's renewed efforts to meet the challenges which today's society and cultures, in view of the significant changes taking place, are posing to the Christian faith, its proclamation and its witness. In facing these challenges, the Church does not give up or retreat into herself; instead, she undertakes a project to revitalize herself. She makes the Person of Jesus Christ and a personal encounter with him central to her thinking, knowing that he will give his Spirit and provide the force to announce and proclaim the Gospel in new ways which can speak to today's cultures. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 5 The time has also come for a new evangelization in the West, where many of those baptized lead totally un-Christian lives and more and more persons maintain some links to the faith but have little or a poor knowledge of it. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 9 A disciple of Christ is never a passive and indifferent observer of what is taking place. On the contrary, he feels responsible for transforming social, political, economic and cultural reality... You must have the courage to speak about Christ in your families and in places where you study, work or recreate, inspired with the same fervour the Apostles had when they said: "We cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen" (Acts 4:20). Nor should you be silent! There are places and circumstances where you alone can bring the seed of God's Word. Message by the Holy Father John Paul II 7th World Youth Day, 4 15
  16. 16. Courageous Catholic and Key Terms - continued Missionary "[T]he faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World." CCC 897 1. John Paul II explained that a lack of missionary activity indicates a crisis of faith. How do you see this played out in a parish, for example? 16
  17. 17. Deepest Identity A radical conversion in thinking is required in order to become missionary, and this holds true both for individuals and entire communities. Redemptoris Missio, 49 The Church's Identity Being Christian and "being Church" means being missionary; one is or is not. Loving one's faith implies bearing witness to it, bringing it to others and allowing others to participate in it. The lack of missionary zeal is a lack of zeal for the faith. "Are we truly missionary at heart?" The new evangelization is the Church's undertaking her fundamental mission, her identity and reason for existence. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14 The missionary thrust…belongs to the very nature of the Christian life. Redemptoris Missio, 1 The Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all nations to make disciples of them. CCC, 767 Hence the mission of evangelization, a continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is necessary for the Church: it cannot be overlooked; it is an expression of her very nature. Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization For missionary activity renews the church, revitalizes the faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others! … For in the Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality just as its lessening is a sign of crisis of faith. Mission of the Redeemer, 2 17
  18. 18. Deepest Identity - continued 1. Revitalized parish The agent for transmitting the faith is the universal Church...In past decades, the local Churches have done their utmost in this field. Yet, “the cultural climate and the general state of fatigue in many Christian communities in our local Churches is endangering the proclamation of the faith, its transmission to others and instruction in the faith”. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 15 A "new evangelization" is synonymous with renewed spiritual efforts in the life of faith within the local Churches… Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 18
  19. 19. Deepest Identity - continued 2. Revitalized Faith Faith is strengthened when it is given to others! For in the Church’s history, missionary drive has always been a sign of vitality just as its lessening is a sign of crisis of faith. Redemptoris Missio, 2 She (the Church) is called to broaden her horizons, to go beyond boundaries since “the new evangelization is the opposite of self-sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo mentality and an idea that pastoral programmes are simply to proceed as they did in the past”. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 3. Unity …only by becoming missionary will the Christian community be able to overcome its internal divisions and tensions, and rediscover its unity and its strength of faith. Redemptoris Missio, 49 2. What would happen if every member of your parish understood their deepest identity as Catholics? 19
  20. 20. Closing Elements Challenge Read The Ultimate Relationship booklet this week. Summary If we, as Church, do not know our deepest identity, how can we really be who we are meant to be? The Church exists to evangelize. This truth has the power to transform how we see ourselves as Church and minister to the world around us. We, too, are personally invited to connect with this identity and engage in the lifegiving mission of evangelization. Prayer Heavenly Father, As difficult as this may be to pray, I know that I must surrender my very identity to you. In you alone can I find my true identity to be who I am meant to be. Help me to see all aspects and activities of my life through the lens of my deepest identity: evangelization. Lord God, I want to embrace your plan for my missionary identity and I also desire this for the whole Church! I pray that you would pour out your grace so that many more would come to embrace who they are as a missionary people. I desire to see the whole of God’s people united in that same call and purpose. May your Kingdom come and your will be done! Amen. 20
  21. 21. Lesson 2 CCO 101 Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes St. Catherine's Bridge Illustration NC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes The Relationships Diagram MC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Closing Elements MC - 15 minutes Welcome MC 2 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes + MC 2 minutes 1. What thoughts have you had this week related to last week's lesson or the homework reading? 2. How familiar are you with CCO's materials: Discovery and The Ultimate Relationship? 21
  22. 22. St. Catherine's Bridge Illustration MC 20 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes 22
  23. 23. St. Catherine's Bridge Illustration - continued 3. Read Romans 5:16-19. In light of this Scripture passage and the bridge illustration, why was humanity in need of God’s help? In other words, why did we need Jesus to die for us? 23
  24. 24. The Relationships Diagram MC 20 minutes + Small Groups 10 minutes 24
  25. 25. Closing Elements MC 15 minutes Prayer Father, I believe that you know me and love me. I have not always chosen to love you, and have broken my relationship with you through my sins. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus who proved your love for me on the cross. (Take a minute to reflect on how you have failed God and others). Lord Jesus, I open the door of my heart and I invite you to be at the centre of my life — to be my Saviour and my Lord. Direct me by your Holy Spirit and help me to live the Gospel with my whole life. Amen. Challenge Do at least 30 minutes of reading from: Evangelii Nuntiandi, Redemptoris Missio, or the Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day. Be prepared to share what you learned about evangelization.  Evangelii Nuntiandi:  Redemptoris Missio:  Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day: p-ii_mes_24111991_vii-world-youth-day_en.html Summary St. Catherine's bridge illustration is a helpful tool to communicate and visually grasp God's plan for our salvation from creation, to the fall, to the incarnation, to the death and resurrection. The relationships diagram helps us to understand the kind of relationship we have with our loving God, and invites us to put him at the centre of our lives. 25
  26. 26. Lesson 3 Holiness and Mission Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Interdependence of Holiness and Mission Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Reach the World One Person at a Time MC - 20 minutes Small Groups - 15 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group what you learned from your reading assignment last week. Did you find any inspirational quotes? 26
  27. 27. Interdependence of Holiness and Mission “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 The Second Vatican Council has significantly spoken on the universal call to holiness. It is possible to say that this call to holiness is precisely the basic charge entrusted to all the sons and daughters of the Church by a Council which intended to bring a renewal of Christian life based on the gospel. This charge is not a simple moral exhortation, but an undeniable requirement arising from the mystery of the Church…whose members share in the same life of holiness of the Head who is Christ. Christifidelis Laici, 16 The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. Redemptoris Missio, 90 The Church's holiness and missionary character are two sides of the same coin. Benedict XVI's Homily at Port of Brindisi … The Church's missionary spirituality is a journey toward holiness. The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. Redemptoris Missio, 90 27
  28. 28. Interdependence of Holiness and Mission - continued In this regard, it is useful to reflect that the Twelve Apostles were not perfect men, chosen for their moral and religious irreproachability. They were indeed believers, full of enthusiasm and zeal but at the same time marked by their human limitations, which were sometimes even serious. Therefore Jesus did not call them because they were already holy, complete, perfect, but so that they might become so. Benedict XVI visit to Brindisi July 2, 2008 In the spiritual realm, too, no one lives for himself alone. the salvation of one's own soul is freed from fear and becomes concerned for the salvation of others as well. communion of saints, the mystery of "vicarious life", of union with Christ and his saints. And salutary concern for selfishness only when it This is the reality of the prayer as the means of Incarnationis Mysterium, 10 She (the Church) is called to broaden her horizons, to go beyond boundaries since “the new evangelization is the opposite of self-sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo”… Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 10 2. How do you think people might misunderstand the interdependence of mission and holiness? 28
  29. 29. Reach the World One Person at a Time And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 2 Timothy 2:2 29
  30. 30. Reach the World One Person at a Time - continued 3. Paul is a great apostle of the early Church, why would this model be very important and strategic, especially in that time period? 4. What would happen if Timothy did not understand Paul’s strategy? 30
  31. 31. Closing Elements Challenge Your first evangelization challenge: tell someone this week that you have a personal relationship with Jesus. Do another 30 minutes of reading from: Evangelii Nuntiandi, Redemptoris Missio, or the Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day. Be prepared to share what you learned about evangelization.  Evangelii Nuntiandi:  Redemptoris Missio:  Message of the Holy Father for the VII World Youth Day: p-ii_mes_24111991_vii-world-youth-day_en.html Summary Mission goes hand-in-hand with our growth in holiness. Our mission as members of the Church is to bring the message of Jesus to the world, one person at a time. Paul and Timothy set an example for us of how to accomplish this mission. Their method is concrete and carries amazing potential for the spread of the Gospel. We too are called to put this method into action. 31
  32. 32. Prayer Lord God, I thank you for the opportunity to understand more deeply my baptismal call to be a disciple of Jesus, especially by recognizing the two calls of a disciple: Holiness and Mission. Help me to see all aspects and activities of my life through the lens of my deepest identity: evangelization. Holy Spirit, increase my desire to be counted among the new generation of builders, and stir in me the urgency of genuine love and concern for the salvation of others. Give me the courage to speak about Christ so that I may say with the apostles, “I cannot help speaking of what I have heard and seen!” I pray that I may be a “Paul” to “Timothys” out there in the world. I pray for the grace to be faithful to all you entrust to me. Amen. 32
  33. 33. Lesson 4 The Message Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes The Kerygma: Jesus Video - 15 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Entrusted with the Message Small Groups 20 minute Break - 15 minutes The Ultimate Relationship Demonstration MC - 30 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group what you learned from your reading assignment last week. Did you find any inspirational quotes? 33
  34. 34. The Kerygma: Jesus Definition: In Scripture: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:4 In Church Teaching: Evangelization will also always contain - as the foundation, center, and at the same time, summit of its dynamism - a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all men, as a gift of God's grace and mercy. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 27 4-Point Gospel Message In the complex reality of mission, initial proclamation has a central and irreplaceable role, since it introduces man "into the mystery of the love of God, who invites him to enter into a personal relationship with himself in Christ" and opens the way to conversion. Faith is born of preaching, and every ecclesial community draws its origin and life from the personal response of each believer to that preaching. Just as the whole economy of salvation has its center in Christ, so too all missionary activity is directed to the proclamation of his mystery. The subject of proclamation is Christ who was crucified, died and is risen: through him is accomplished our full and authentic liberation from evil, sin and death; through him God bestows "new life" that is divine and eternal. This is the "Good News" which changes man and his history, and which all peoples have a right to hear. This proclamation is to be made within the context of the lives of the individuals and peoples who receive it. It is to be made with an attitude of love and esteem toward those who hear it, in language which is practical and adapted to the situation. In this proclamation the Spirit is at work and establishes a communion between the missionary and his hearers, a communion which is possible inasmuch as both enter into communion with God the Father through Christ. Redemptoris Missio, 44 34
  35. 35. The Kerygma: Jesus - continued Lack of Clarity 2. What is your reaction to these stories? Do you think this is a common experience for Catholics? 35
  36. 36. Entrusted with the Message 3. Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Paul speaks with tremendous conviction in this passage. What is the object of his passion? 4. What fuels his passion? 5. Paul calls us ambassadors for Christ. How does this perspective of our missionary role affect the way we communicate the kerygma? 36
  37. 37. The Ultimate Relationship: A Tool for Sharing the Kerygma 37
  38. 38. Closing Elements Challenge This week, share The Ultimate Relationship booklet with someone. Be prepared to share your experience with the group next week. Summary There is much confusion, even among Catholics, about who Jesus is and why he is important. The message of a missionary is the basic Gospel message: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation. Jesus sends us out as his ambassadors to implore people to be reconciled to God. Prayer Lord Jesus, thank you for the free gift of salvation. I thank you for all the times in my life that I have been able to hear the Gospel and respond. Not everyone has had that opportunity. Lord, I ask that you would write the kerygma on my heart, so that I would know it and be able to communicate it to others in a clear and effective way. You have entrusted to me the message of reconciliation. I accept the call to be your ambassador and pray for the courage to live it out. I also pray for all those who will hear the Gospel: give them the grace to understand and respond so that they may become new creations in you. Amen. 38
  39. 39. Lesson 5 The Message and You Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Personal Conversion Video - 25 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes You MC - 2 minutes Personal reflection - 20 minutes MC - 3 minutes Small Groups - 15 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group how your experience of sharing the kerygma went. What did you learn from this experience? 39
  40. 40. Personal Conversion What is conversion? Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple. Redemptoris Missio, 46 3 Types of Testimonies 1) Definite Adult Conversion Moment 2) Season of Adult Conversion 3) Faithful One's Whole Life 40
  41. 41. Personal Conversion - continued Our Conversion Story  "What were my big yesses to God?"  "How have I experienced Jesus as the one who saves me?  "How have I experienced Jesus as the one who gave me eternal life?" Barriers Value of Identifying our Conversion “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you” [1 Peter 3:15]. 1) To authentically and effectively communicate the Gospel 2) To identify with others Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41 41
  42. 42. Personal Conversion - continued Finding the Conversion Moment There are two aspects we can help people to identify:  Their personal decision to open their heart to Jesus or,  If they have remained faithful to God since childhood, how has Jesus' death and resurrection been personally understood or experienced? 2. What resonated with you about your personal faith story from this video segment? 42
  43. 43. You We can be witnesses only if we know Christ first hand, and not only through others — from our own life, from our personal encounter with Christ. Finding him really in our life of faith, we become witnesses. Pope Benedict XVI, On Christian Unity in 2009, "When He Wishes and When We Are Prepared, [God] Will Create Unity", 3. Recall your own journey. You are not expected to answer all of the following questions; they are fire starters, to help you unpack and articulate your conversion story.  Why are you faithful to God?  How have you experienced God's love for you?  When and how did you experience and adult conversion?  What are significant moments when you received God's forgiveness and mercy?  What were the big yesses to God in your life?  Who was the “Paul” in your life? Were there several “Pauls” in your life?  What is it about these “Pauls” and what they communicated to you that brought you to a clearer understanding of Jesus?  At what times in your life did you really understand that Jesus died on the cross for you, to save you from your sin and weaknesses?  From what has Jesus rescued you? This could be your past failures, or perhaps the wrong choices you might have made, were it not for God’s grace in your life. 43
  44. 44. You - continued Notes: 44
  45. 45. You - continued 4. Do the one-minute challenge with your small group. 45
  46. 46. Closing Elements Summary The name “Jesus” literally means “God saves." We are dependent on God and the salvation offered through Christ. We should never take for granted our salvation, as though we have earned or deserve it because we are faithful. A deep understanding of our redemption is indispensable for us and for our effectiveness in evangelization. With this understanding we are better able to articulate how we personally came to know the saving action of Jesus. Challenge Share your one-minute conversion moment with someone this week. Prayer Lord, I thank you for the cross. I thank you for making a way for us to live eternally with you in heaven. Father, I am grateful that although you loved the world enough to send your Son, you also loved me enough to send your Son. Holy Spirit, thank you for your mercy – despite my weaknesses, sins and failures. I give you permission to continue purifying me, that I may better know your grace and power in my life. In a special way today, I pray in thanksgiving for my “Paul”. Bless and protect all “Pauls” as they continue to love and serve you. Amen. 46
  47. 47. Lesson 6 Heart for the Lost Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Lost and Found Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Who are the Lost Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Conversion and Compasion Small Groups - 25 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with your group how you have been more aware of Jesus as Saviour in your life this week as result of last week’s discussion. You can also explain to whom and how you shared your "one minute conversion moment" this week. 47
  48. 48. Lost and Found Read Luke 15:1-7: The Parable of the Lost Sheep. Parable of Prodigal Son 2. Any comments on this presentation? 3. How would it change the environment of a parish or a CCO event if a lost person “came back to life”? 48
  49. 49. Who are the Lost? At the end of the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus recalled that God's love excludes no one: "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." [Mt 18:14] He affirms that he came "to give his life as a ransom for many"; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer." CCC 605 In the countries of more ancient Christian tradition today there is an urgent need to call attention again to the message of Jesus by means of a new evangelization, since there are widespread groups of people who do not know Christ, or do not know him well enough; many, caught by the mechanisms of secularism and religious indifference, are far from him. John Paul II, Message for the 7th World Youth Day, Rome, November 24, 1991, 3 Two key categories 49
  50. 50. Who are the Lost? - continued We cannot selfishly keep for ourselves the words of eternal life, which we received in our personally encountering Jesus Christ. They are destined for each and every person. Each person today, whether he knows it or not, needs this proclamation. Lineamenta for the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 25 I am Lost What is the Problem with Being Lost? As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin. CCC 418 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Saviour of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ. CCC 389 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins": "the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world", and "he was revealed to take away sins": Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Saviour; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state? CCC 457 (quoting St. Gregory of Nyssa) 50
  51. 51. Who are the Lost? - continued The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. CCC 1257 What the Church proclaims to the world is the Logos of Hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15); in order to be able to live fully each moment, men and women need “the great hope” which is “the God who possesses a human face and who ‘has loved us to the end’ (Jn 13:1)”. This is why the Church is missionary by her very nature. We cannot keep to ourselves the words of eternal life given to us in our encounter with Jesus Christ: they are meant for everyone, for every man and woman. Verbum Domini 4. What truths stood out to you in this presentation? 51
  52. 52. Conversion and Compassion Read John 4:7-30, 39-42. 5. What kind of encounter did the Samaritan woman have with Jesus? 6. What can we learn from Jesus’ example? 7. Why is the woman filled with such apostolic zeal after her conversion? What can we learn from this? 52
  53. 53. Closing Elements Challenge This week, pray and seek to see each person with whom you interact as Jesus does. Speak to them with care and compassion, desiring to bring the love of Christ to them. If the opportunity arises in conversation, share Jesus and his message of reconciliation with them. Summary We embrace the commission to bring the Good News to all creation out of obedience to God and love for our neighbour. We ought to have compassion and concern for those whom the Father seeks. Indeed, “the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Corinthians 5:15a). Mindful of how we have received God's grace and mercy in our lives, we practice a ministry of reconciliation with “Timothys” around us. We appropriate Jesus' heart for the lost, and echo the words of St. Paul: “we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Prayer Lord, thank you for finding me and rescuing me when I was lost. Thank you for continuing to unveil to me areas of my heart and mind that remain lost and in need of your mercy. Lord, you have shown me what it means to have a heart for the lost. Help me to recognize that every person I meet is loved and cared for by you. Give me your heart to see them as you see them, to love them as you love them. Help me to hear your voice directing me to pray for them and talk to them. I pray that I may be empowered by the Holy Spirit to communicate the Gospel with sensitivity, clarity and compassion. I pray that I may be faithful in making Jesus known and loved. Amen. 53
  54. 54. Lesson 7 Understanding “Timothy” Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes' Perception of the Church Video - 25 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Perception of Jesus Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Issues Video - 20 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group how you interacted with people around you this week — striving to see them through the eyes of Jesus and mindful of what he has done for you. 54
  55. 55. Perception of the Church Sometimes even Catholics have lost or never had the chance to experience Christ personally: not Christ as a mere ‘paradigm’ or ‘value’, but as the living Lord, ‘the way, and the truth, and the life’. Address of his Holiness John Paul II to the Bishops of the United States of America on their "ad Limina" visit, p.3 2. How does understanding this perception help us speak more effectively with those we wish to evangelize? 55
  56. 56. Perception of Jesus 3. Why is clarity about Jesus and his cross so crucial to evangelization? 56
  57. 57. Issues  The most important message for our “Timothys” to hear is Jesus. Until this foundation is in place, they will not be able to truly understand the Church’s moral and social teachings.  A confrontational attitude can create a negative environment in which the love of Jesus cannot be sown.  Try to navigate the conversation back to Christ,  Give a brief answer, or resources that can answer it for them in a respectful calm manner.  Try to help them see the issues and Church teachings through the lens of "relevance, relationship, freedom".  Stay in close dialogue with the Holy Spirit during this time!  The issues brought up are often a smoke screen. You'll know if it isn't, if they actually follow-up with the resources you give them to look at. 57
  58. 58. 4. How would you now approach conversations that are focused on an "issue"? Closing Elements Challenge Share the kerygma with someone this week. Try using one of the tools you learned today to open up the conversation or wipe away a misunderstanding so that he/she can be more receptive to the Gospel Summary The message is Jesus. Problems of confusion, disconnection and frustration can be dealt with when we clearly understand who Jesus is and what he has done. We need to know and understand what influences people’s attitudes and respond to them in charity. With these abilities and dispositions, we should now have the confidence and desire to share the Gospel. Prayer Lord, I pray for all those who are blind to you. I pray for those who struggle with issues, that in finding you, they will also find peace. I pray for those who struggle with the Church and do not see the life, love and freedom she offers. I pray that when my Catholic brothers and sisters see a crucifix, they will be moved to reflect on what it really depicts. May they see the love of the one who rescued them and gave them the hope of heaven. Almighty Father, I also pray for myself. I pray that I will not be intimidated by the opinions of others, but always remember that you are the truth. Holy Spirit, give me the wisdom to consider the experiences of others and speak to them out of love. Let my disposition and words not be obstacles to your grace, but use them to dissolve the barriers that prevent people from seeing you clearly. Amen. 58
  59. 59. Lesson 8 See Opportunities Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Timothy Opportunities Video - 15 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Timothy Situations Video- 15 minutes Break - 15 minutes See and Seize Opportunities MC - 10 minutes Small Groups - 25 minutes Personal Reflection and Small Groups - 15 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group how you were able to integrate the illustrations and suggestions from last week in your conversations with others. 59
  60. 60. “Timothy” Opportunities 2. Is there a particular “Timothy” in your sphere of influence to whom you sense God calling you? Take three minutes to think and pray about how you can seek this person out. Share your ideas with the group and ask for feedback. Some extra questions to direct your thoughts:  From the beginning of this program, has a certain person come to mind often?  Does this person trust you?  Do you have influence in their lives?  Do I like spending time with this person?  If this person doesn't trust me yet, is there potential for trust as the relationship grows? 60
  61. 61. “Timothy” Situations No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples. Redemptoris Missio, 3 For missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others. Redemptoris Missio, 2 61
  62. 62. Seeing and Seizing Opportunities This [Jesus] is the "Good News" which changes man and his history, and which all peoples have a right to hear. This proclamation is to be made within the context of the lives of the individuals and peoples who receive it. It is to be made with an attitude of love and esteem toward those who hear it, in language which is practical and adapted to the situation. In this proclamation the Spirit is at work and establishes a communion between the missionary and his hearers, a communion which is possible inasmuch as both enter into communion with God the Father through Christ. Redemptoris Missio, 44  We need to look for individual conversations that allow us to share Jesus. We should seek out opportunities to proclaim the Gospel and invite others to respond. For example, notice new people at Mass. Why not go up to them, and say, “I don’t think I’ve met you, what brings you to our parish? Is this your normal mass time?” That would be a setting we all live once a week that we can reach out to people around us. Another situation could come up when someone at work comments on something regarding faith and it gives you an opportunity to invite them to church.  We need to sow broadly, inviting many people to hear the Gospel. Don’t limit who you think would or would not. An example would be to walk into your parish and look for a way to invite everyone, or as many people as possible. You can invite at the pulpit, or in the parish bulletins, or even door to door to participate in a Discovery faith study. And it really only takes 3-5 people to have a group.  When people attend our events, we should not just be content that they came, but make sure they are personally cared for and given a chance to encounter Jesus. For example ask, “What stood out to you and why?” Have intentional conversations that are life-giving and asking important questions about God. We dare you to ask specific questions to get at what they are thinking or feeling about spiritual things, and hopefully Jesus. For example: “What did you think of that men’s prayer breakfast? What did you get of it? Why?” 62
  63. 63. Seeing and Seizing Opportunities - continued 3. How could these two situations be made more evangelistic? Work on these scenarios in pairs. 1. 2. You brought someone to mass with you. Now what? You’re a leader in baptismal preparation. How can you seize this opportunity to be more evangelistic. 63
  64. 64. Personal Reflection 4. Take 3 minutes to reflect on the opportunities in your sphere of influence.  What opportunities do I have to advance the proclamation of the Gospel with "Timothys", or in ministries, groups and organizations to which I am connected or toward which God is leading me? Then, share with your small group. 64
  65. 65. Closing Elements Challenge Take time this week to fill out the Personal Opportunities Worksheet in the appendix of this guide. Summary There are missionary opportunities all around us. The Father loves every single person and he puts people on our path so that we can show them his love. The Holy Spirit desires to point us towards “Timothys” who need to hear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit can also inspire us to see how a ministry or group might be revitalized through the work of evangelization. Prayer Lord, thank you for trusting me with opportunities to share you with others. I bring to you these “Timothys” that you have placed on my heart. Come Holy Spirit! Give me the gift of creativity to see ways that I can connect with them and reach out to them. Come Holy Spirit! I also ask for the creativity and wisdom to see other opportunities for the message of Jesus to be proclaimed. Prepare the way for me. May I have the grace to follow your lead and be docile to your promptings. Give me a heart of great expectations, anticipating what you can do in these opportunities and trusting that you will be with me as I step out in faith in accordance with your will. Yes, Lord, may your will be done! Amen. 65
  66. 66. Lesson 9 Next Generation Mindset Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes Introduction MC - 2 minutes Small Groups - 15 minutes Spiritual Multiplication Video - 10 minutes Small Groups - 5 minutes Break - 15 minutes Multiplying Ministry Video - 5 minutes Our Timothy's Timothy's Timothy Small Groups - 20 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with the group how your discernment and intentional planning is going regarding your outreach to a “Timothy”, or to a group, parish, ministry, etc. 66
  67. 67. Introduction Finally, the person who has been evangelized goes on to evangelize others. Here lies the test of truth, the touchstone of evangelization: it is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 24 And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 2 Timothy 2:3 2. Draw the people described in this verse, showing how the message is passed along. (Reviewing from Lesson 1) 3. How does this illustrate that evangelization alone is not enough? 4. What would happen if Timothy focused only on the message and not the mission? 5. How does the result change when Timothy entrusts both the Gospel AND the mission to others? 67
  68. 68. Spiritual Multiplication after 2 years there would be after 4 years there would be after 10 years there would be after 20 years there would be after 30 years there would be after 32 years there would be after 36 years there would be after 42 years there would be 6. How do you feel about this model and your part in it? 68
  69. 69. Multiplying Ministry Our “Timothy’s” “Timothy’s” “Timothy” 7. Did you have to read that section title a few times? What does it mean? 8. Why is it important for us to have this paradigm in our ministry and mission? 9. How can we give our “Timothy” a next generation missionary mindset? 69
  70. 70. Closing Elements Challenge In Lesson 7 we took time to pray and dream about potential “Timothys” or outreach situations. At the time, we were likely seeing this only from the perspective of evangelization. Your challenge this week is to continue praying and dreaming about the people and opportunities the Holy Spirit brought to mind in Lesson 7. This time, however, ask yourself:  How can I have a next generation mindset with this person or opportunity?  What is the bigger picture I was missing before?  How could these people or opportunities have a multiplying effect?" Be prepared to share with the group next week. Summary A missionary’s desire is that Jesus would be proclaimed, for as Paul says, “that is what brings me joy” (Philippians 1:18). The greatest hope of a missionary, however, is that the person he/she evangelizes will be empowered to proclaim Jesus to others. The objective of a disciple with a next-generation mindset is to pass on the message and the mission to another. “And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2:2). Prayer Father, we unite ourselves with Jesus’ prayer for his disciples in the Gospel of John. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word" (John 17:20). We pray for our "Timothys", for our “Timonthy’s Timothy’s Timothy”, and for all those who will hear through their witness. We pray for the generations of believers who will follow from their apostolic labours. Holy Spirit, empower them to be your instruments to evangelize and mobilize others to be missionary. May their lives and their witness leave a legacy – that Jesus is proclaimed, one person at a time, to all creation. May you forever be glorified in all our lives. Amen. 70
  71. 71. Lesson 10 Struggles and Doubts Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes Opposition MC - 3 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Lack of Success Video - 10 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Break - 15 minutes Lack of Confidence Video - 10 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Eternal Perspective Small Groups- 25 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Share with your small group how your discernment and intentional planning is going regarding your aspirations for the evangelization and multiplication of a “Timothy”, or a group, parish, ministry, etc. 71
  72. 72. Opposition Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5: 8-10 2. What do you think are the ways we can expect to be sabotaged by the enemy? 72
  73. 73. Lack of Success God has not called me to be successful; he has called me to be faithful. Mother Teresa 3. What aspects of this presentation on dealing with lack of success spoke to you? 73
  74. 74. Lack of Confidence Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated You; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD." Jeremiah 1:5-8 A disposition of the heart which makes us humble and small in the arms of God, conscious of our weakness, and confident to the point of audacity in the goodness of our Father. I Believe in Love, p. 20 4. What encouragement are you taking away from this section? 74
  75. 75. Eternal Perspective 5. Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. What is Paul’s perspective on struggles, challenges and suffering? How does he apply this perspective to his mission and ministry? 6. How do holiness and mission interact in this passage? 75
  76. 76. Closing Elements Challenge Memorize one of the quotes in this lesson: “God has not called me to be successful; he has called me to be faithful.” Mother Teresa A disposition of the heart which makes us humble and small in the arms of God, conscious of our weakness, and confident to the point of audacity in the goodness of our Father. St. Therese of Lisieux Summary When we learn to expect opposition and understand the tactics being used on us, we can be ready to counteract. We must not allow perceived lack of success or feelings of inadequacy to stifle our missionary spirit. Remember: being a successful missionary means taking the initiative to share the message and the mission, and leaving the results to God. Prayer Heavenly Father, we turn to you with the words of St. Paul: “I believed, and so I spoke” — we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. We know you will restore, support, strengthen and establish us in the mission. Lord Jesus, though we will encounter suffering and sacrifice along the way, let us unite it to your ultimate act of redemptive suffering on the cross. Thank you for the opportunity to win graces not only for ourselves, but for the Church as a whole and for individual “Timothys”. Holy Spirit, keep our minds and hearts enlightened so as to live always with an eternal perspective. Amen. 76
  77. 77. Lesson 11 Commissioned Outline Welcome MC - 2 minutes Small Group opening question - 10 minutes MC - 2 minutes The Source of Great Expectations Video - 10 minutes Small Groups - 10 minutes Indispensable MC - 5 minutes Small Groups - 25 minutes Break - 15 minutes Empowerment MC - 5 minutes Small Groups - 30 minutes Closing Elements MC - 10 minutes Welcome 1. Recite the quote you memorized last week. Why did you choose that particular quote? 77
  78. 78. Great Expectations In any case, there will be failures, contradictions, very difficult moments and sometimes very distressing ones. But if there is, on our part, this total confidence which we ought to have in Jesus, He will take care of everything. He will bring good out of evil and even, as I have already told you a greater good than if there had been no evil; and the trial will have been an immense good for us. Yes do everything as if it all depended on you, and leave the results to the Divine Master, on whom everything really depends. I Believe in Love, p. 91 2. How could exercising great expectations influence your faith and the way you share it with others? 78
  79. 79. Indispensable From some earlier presentations of evangelization and missionary activity, one might get the impression that, while the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles, apostolic activity in subsequent generations depends on merely human initiative. Avery Cardinal Dulles, Evangelization in the Third Millennium, 10 Today we will focus on a large section from Pope Paul VI's encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi (75). 3. Underline key phrases as the selection is read aloud. Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit descends on Jesus of Nazareth at the moment of His baptism when the voice of the Father - "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased" manifests in an external way the election of Jesus and His mission. Jesus is "led by the Spirit" to experience in the desert the decisive combat and the supreme test before beginning this mission. It is "in the power of the Spirit" that He returns to Galilee and begins His preaching at Nazareth, applying to Himself the passage of Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." And He proclaims: "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled." To the disciples whom He was about to send forth He says, breathing on them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." In fact, it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost that the apostles depart to all the ends of the earth in order to begin the great work of the Church's evangelization. Peter explains this event as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel: "I will pour out my spirit." Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit so that he can speak to the people about Jesus, the Son of God. Paul too is filled with the Holy Spirit before dedicating himself to his apostolic ministry, as is Stephen when he is chosen for the ministry of service and later on for the witness of blood. The Spirit, who causes Peter, Paul and the Twelve to speak, and who inspires the words that they are to utter, also comes down "on those who heard the word." It is in the "consolation of the Holy Spirit" that the Church increases. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. It is He who explains to the faithful the deep meaning of the teaching of Jesus and of His mystery. It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed. Techniques of evangelization are good, but even the most advanced ones could not replace the gentle action of the Spirit. The most perfect preparation of the evangelizer has no effect without the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit the most convincing dialectic has no power over the heart of man. Without Him the most highly developed schemas resting on a sociological or psychological basis are quickly seen to be quite valueless. We live in the Church at a privileged moment of the Spirit. Everywhere people are trying to know Him better, as the Scripture reveals Him. They are happy to place 79
  80. 80. Indispensable - continued themselves under His inspiration. They are gathering about Him; they want to let themselves be led by Him. Now if the Spirit of God has a preeminent place in the whole life of the Church, it is in her evangelizing mission that He is most active. It is not by chance that the great inauguration of evangelization took place on the morning of Pentecost, under the inspiration of the Spirit. It must be said that the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization: it is He who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel, and it is He who in the depths of consciences causes the word of salvation to be accepted and understood. 4. How does Pope Paul VI describe the action of the Holy Spirit in: a) evangelization b) the evangelizer c) the one being evangelized? 80
  81. 81. Indispensable - continued In proclaiming Christ to non-Christians, the missionary is convinced that, through the working of the Spirit, there already exists in individuals and peoples an expectation, even if an unconscious one, of knowing the truth about God, about man, and about how we are to be set free from sin and death. The missionary's enthusiasm in proclaiming Christ comes from the conviction that he is responding to that expectation, and so he does not become discouraged or cease his witness even when he is called to manifest his faith in an environment that is hostile or indifferent. He knows that the Spirit of the Father is speaking through him and he can say with the apostles: "We are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit" (Acts 5:32). He knows that he is not proclaiming a human truth, but the "word of God," which has an intrinsic and mysterious power of its own. Redemptoris Missio, 45 5. What does John Paul II tell us about our missionary efforts? 6. How does the Holy Spirit allow us to have great expectations in our mission? How does he affect your specific mission to your "Timothys"? 81
  82. 82. Empowerment Let us now take a moment to invite the Holy Spirit to activate the graces and gifts we received at our Baptism and Confirmation, which strengthen and commission us. 1. As a group, pray for the Holy Spirit to be stirred up in your lives.  For openness and docility to the Holy Spirit.  For the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit to be active and effective in our lives.  To invite the Holy Spirit to have his way in the lives of the "Timothys" to whom we feel called to reach.  To invite the Holy Spirit to direct the plans and projects we feel he is leading us to undertake. 2. Pray for each member of the group individually. Throughout the Bible, the "laying on of hands" is modelled as an effective way to pray for someone, especially when invoking the Holy Spirit (e.g. Acts 19:6). Take turns praying briefly in this way for each member.  At each member's turn, ask them to briefly mention what intentions they have for their "Timothys", ministries or parish.  Suggested opening prayers: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. Or Stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and selfcontrol (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Following the opening prayer, there should be a time of spontaneous short intentions prayed out loud by the group. 82
  83. 83. Closing Elements MC 10 minutes Challenge Live out your deepest identity and be a courageous Catholic and multiplying missionary in the power of the Holy Spirit. Summary The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church…. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may "bear much fruit." CCC 737 Because we are assured of the Holy Spirit's direct activity in evangelization, we can have a heart of great expectations that God is truly seeking and able to speak to people's hearts as we step out courageously and witness to our faith in Jesus Christ. At the end of this final lesson, the Courageous Catholic program sends its participants out — commissioned and empowered by the Holy Spirit to pass on the message and the mission. Consider yourselves sent to go and bear much fruit for the greater glory of God! 83
  84. 84. Prayer Apostles’ Prayer Lord, when you called Abraham, he responded, “Ready.” When you called Isaiah, he answered, “Here I am Lord.” When the angel Gabriel called out to Mary, she responded, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” Lord, I hear you calling my name. I hear you entrusting me with the task of building your kingdom. Like those holy men and women who have gone before me, I give you my ‘yes!’ I will go anywhere you want me to go. I will do anything you want me to do. I will say anything you want me to say. Holy Spirit I welcome you and ask you to guide me. Form in me an apostle’s heart – filled with love for Christ and zeal for souls. I will commit myself with courage and generosity to the New Evangelization. I will build brick-by-brick, the city of God inside the city of man. Amen. * “I will build brick-by-brick, the city of God inside the city of man” is taken from John Paul II’s homily at WYD Toronto on the evening of July 27, 2002. 84
  85. 85. 85
  86. 86. Appendix 86
  87. 87. Personal Opportunities Worksheet Objective: to help participants make a personal plan for their “Timothy”. 1. Brainstorm: To whom do I sense the Lord calling me to reach out? What opportunities for evangelization is he presenting to me? 2. Select: Select just one “Timothy” and/or ministry opportunity for now. 3. Plan: Discern and map out ideas on this worksheet on how to be intentional with opportunities to share the God's love and the kerygma with your "Timothy" or ministry opportunity. The questions provided are catalysts for your prayerful planning. a) For a “Timothy”:  What are my dreams, hopes and great expectations for my “Timothy”?  How can I show I am willing to love him/her, listen to him/her, and truly communicate God's love and care for him/her in a nonjudgmental way?  Pre-evangelization (if necessary)  How can I build my relationship this person?  How can I connect with him/her?  How can I delight in him/her?  How can I identify with him/her? 87
  88. 88.  Evangelization  What would be a good venue/opportunity to share the kerygma with him/her?  How can I communicate the Good News and God's love to him/her in a way that takes into account his/her situation?  Do I need practice or tools to help me communicate the kerygma clearly, simply, confidently, comfortably?  Strategy to help him/her growing in their faith  How can I encourage continued spiritual growth?  How can I help him/her get to the sacraments (Eucharist, Reconciliation)? 88
  89. 89. b) For a ministry or group:  What is my dream for how this ministry or group could be revitalized though a greater focus on Jesus?  What relationships do I need to build and invest in so as to strengthen the missionary spirit of this group?  What lines of authority do I need to go through before I implement changes in the ministry (for example, group leaders, pastor, pastoral council, etc.)?  How can I move forward in the best way possible?  Goal-based planning: How can I make the Gospel message central in this ministry or group?  Planning: timeline, strategy for implementing change one step at a time, etc.  Support: a core group of likeminded people, “buy-in” from others, advice from others who have done similar things, prayer support.  Logistics: materials, location; are we creating conflicts with other groups in our use of space or competing with their mandate? 89
  90. 90. 4. Pray/intercede: Take time to pray and intercede together to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and wisdom. Lay hands on the person and pray for a stirring of the Holy Spirit in his/her life, to empower him/her. This is very important. Jesus told his disciples not to go out on mission until they received the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:48). Challenge: This week, prepare a draft of what you think God is calling you to do with your “Timothy” or ministry. (You will continue to discern over the course of the program.) 90
  91. 91. Preparing a Personal Testimony A 3 minute testimony is approximately one single-spaced, typed page. Your testimony should include the following three aspects: 1) What did your life look like prior to knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour? 2) What was the turning point? How did you make the decision to live for Jesus? 3) How has your life changed since you have invited Jesus to be at the centre of your life? Since you have recognized Him as your Saviour? Let’s take a look at a testimony written by a missionary with Catholic Christian Outreach, broken into the three sections listed above: 1. Life before knowing Jesus as Saviour: In university, I was well on my way to ‘success’ - I was a promising student, I was popular and everything was in place for a ‘successful’ career. I had much of what many students strive for, but I was living a life that, although seemingly successful and good, was empty and exhausting. My friend Michael, however, was on a different path. He had encountered Christ in a personal way and actively practiced his faith. He asked me if I'd be interested in doing a CCO Discovery faith study with him, and somehow I agreed without thinking about it. This was strange for me as no one in my family was Catholic, and I was living a life far outside of anything remotely religious. Through the faith study, I heard that I was created to be in a relationship with God and that my sin separated myself from Him; that Jesus reconciled me with God through his death and resurrection; and how all of this is offered to me as a gift. All I have to do is choose. This truth, which is the foundation of the Catholic Church, was beyond anything I could comprehend! It opened a chamber of questions within my mind — "Why am I here? Why was I created? What is the point of ME?" 2. Making the decision, recognizing Jesus as Saviour and accepting Him more fully in my life: These questions led me to pray for the first time: “Jesus, if you’re real… show me,” “Jesus, who are you?” These were simple prayers just trying to talk to Jesus as a real person. Soon after my experience with the faith study, I began attending Mass. Through many encounters with Jesus in Eucharistic adoration, I knew he was real, that he loved me and that he had created me to be in relationship with him, that he died on the cross for me to give me freedom and life. Not only was my heart touched but my mind, and I was drawn to the truth proclaimed in the Catholic Church. These experiences of freedom and truth lead me to a major decision. I became Catholic at the Easter vigil in 2003. I was baptized, confirmed and received Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. Obviously, words cannot express how awesome that experience was, but looking at my non-Catholic parents crying in the front row, I knew that God was somehow working through me. 3. My life since understanding Jesus as my Saviour. Immense changes in my life came quickly. My idea of success and fulfillment was radically altered. Suddenly my motivation for my commerce studies diminished as I realized corporate success was not my calling, nor did it utilize the gifts that God had given me. At the same time, I saw God presenting opportunities to use my life experiences to introduce others to him and his Church: co-workers, friends, and family were having conversions and joining the Catholic Church. One of the greatest joys in my life was seeing my mom come to encounter Christ, and join the 91
  92. 92. Catholic Church the year after I did; I was privileged to be her sponsor! Seeing my mom come into the Church and seeing the joy it brought her awoke my passion both for proclaiming the Gospel and a desire to be a missionary. I chose to become a full-time missionary with Catholic Christian Outreach. St. Paul exclaims “All that matters is that Christ be proclaimed, that is what brings me joy!” [Philippians 1:18]. My burning desire, why I have given my life as a full-time missionary, is to reach out to those who have wandered from the Church and invite them back to experience the love and freedom of Jesus and his Catholic Church – that same love which I encountered 8 years ago and continue to encounter today. There is no greater gift I can think to offer than the service of myself in drawing others to Christ. Now it’s your turn. A few key things to keep in mind to share an engaging testimony. Conversion moment: In lesson 4 of Courageous Catholic you examined your journey of faith, and identified at least one key moment/season/circumstance where you chose to follow Christ, or where you experienced his love/mercy/forgiveness and responded to it. This exercise lays a great foundation upon which you can build your three-minute testimony. Theme: Is there a theme that sticks out to you from your reflections on faith journey? Is there a common emotion or circumstance that other people might identify with? Some examples might include personal pride, searching for happiness, experiencing pain and suffering, lack of purpose, etc. Write down the common thread(s) that you see. This will then become the framework for your testimony. Remember Your Audience: Your testimony is meant to be shared so that “others might hear it and also believe.” Try to use language that will be understood by anyone no matter where they are at in their faith. Avoid religious jargon, if there is an otherwise clearer way to say it (e.g. not "prayed a sinner's prayer", but rather, "I prayed and spoke to God honestly, that I needed his forgiveness and I wanted to know and follow him from now on.") Simple and Clear: When opening or giving details ask yourself, “If I didn’t say this, would it change my message at all?” Try to think of it from the listener’s perspective. Many details that are added into testimonies mean nothing to the listener, nor do they aid in understanding. This is most common when describing people or events. Remember, it probably doesn’t matter to your listeners that “my brother John had a roommate, Dan, who later joined the Army. Dan was a nice guy. He went to St. Patrick’s Basilica. Well, one day he and I were talking....” It can be just as effective to say “My brother’s friend, Dan, encouraged me to look deeper into the claims of Jesus”. Repeatable: When describing your turning point make sure that it is clear and repeatable. After you’ve shared, the listener should be able to clearly articulate what it was that affected the turning point in your life, so that they could, in their own way, repeat what you have done and respond to Christ. Have An Ending: Be sure to have a definite ending so that if you are sharing in a more public setting (at your parish or a group meeting, etc.) you can finish on time with a clear resolution. 92
  93. 93. Leading Your Own Discovery Group Getting Started See for online Discovery training. Here are some practical pointers to getting started with your Discovery faith study. 1) Impact List  Develop a list of people to invite to the study (take some time to write down the names of a few people you could potentially invite to the study)   Choose the best date and time Invite them (personally call them, put an announcement in the bulletin, etc.) 2) Commitment to Personal Growth Allows us to maintain our closeness to Jesus (we cannot give what we do not have), to set an example for our Timothys (that the journey never ends).    Have a daily, consistent personal prayer life Be reading scripture on a daily basis Frequent participation in the sacraments (Eucharist & Confession) 3) Commitment to Intercession  Intercede specifically for each participant  Pray for the participants specific spiritual needs  Prayer for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds of the participants—to convict them of their need for Jesus 4) Preparation  Review the study before gathering with your people  Be sure to understand the main goal and focus of the lesson  Research any tricky parts 5) Leaving a Spiritual Legacy As we’ve heard in previous lessons, the message is only part of what we are sharing – we must be on the lookout for people we can also share the mission with. If we do not share the mission as well as the message, our legacy stops with us.    Our task is not to make converts or even disciples…our task is to form apostles: committed, multiplying disciples Ask yourself: who will lead a faith study from this group? Commission & encourage 93
  94. 94. Components of a Faith Study • Casual Sharing • Opening Prayer (keep it simple so that it’s imitate-able, rote prayers help them participate in prayer: “Lord, bless our bible study and our discussion, Glory be to the Father…”) • Recap Last Faith Study (should be about 2 sentences) • Overview of Current study (should be about 2 sentences) • Faith Study • Closing Comments (ensure that everyone can do the challenge, maybe share a brief story of your own that relates, etc.) • Closing Prayer (again keep it simple: “Thank you for this time together & help us fulfill our challenge this week. Hail Mary…”) • Announcements (any parish or diocesan events that may help to get participants connected to the broader Church community) Key Points The points below are meant to help you have the greatest success in leading your faith study. Feel free to add further suggestions from your own experiences of leading small groups as you read through the material. Set the tone:  Be on time, greet each member by name.  Come prepared having read through the study to understand the material. Facilitate the discussion:. • Ask questions, don’t lecture. • Give people time to think after you have asked a question. Relax. Don’t fear silence. Never answer your own questions. Direct the question to someone if no one volunteers. • Don’t stop with one person sharing. Ask if there are other thoughts. • Don’t struggle to get exactly what you think is the right answer. Better to let a few questionable responses go by than to discourage people from sharing. However, if it is really a matter of basic truth or the answer is wide of your aim, say something like “That’s an interesting point of view. Does anyone else have a thought about this?” Avoid leaving an impression of confusion by summing up briefly, “I appreciate your sharing. I guess my thoughts are…because…” • If someone talks too much, a comment that can be helpful is “Let’s hear from someone who hasn’t had a chance to comment yet.” Or if someone doesn’t talk it would be o.k. once in a while to direct a question directly to them. Pace the study within the time limit  Give ample time to the main point of the passage. Don’t get bogged down in unimportant details; keep the discussion moving. Be prepared and sensitive enough to depart from your study and deal with real problems in individual’s lives. “People are more important than the study.” 94
  95. 95. Bond with your group members  Become a small community. Do things together like going for lunch, events, conferences, somewhere in the middle to the end of the Faith study. Also try to plan a supper/evening get together or pair up with another study and do something social. Lesson Summaries You are proclaiming Jesus and introducing Him to your friends – something will happen! As you learn the material today think about what might be happening in the lives of the people you will be sharing this message with. Do not become overwhelmed but rather remember that it is the power of the Gospel and the working of the Holy Spirit that effects conversion. Lesson 1: God's Love Goal: that participants would come to know God’s unconditional love and that they would realise that He desires a personal relationship with them.       Many people conceptualize God's love in a vague and distant way. This lesson shows that God loves us personally. This is the first point about God's love that we look at in the Discovery study (God’s love is personal, proven, merciful and offered). God’s love is also secure; it is a refuge for us. We can love God back in a personal way, relating to him as a friend. It is important for leaders to be inviting, warm and non-judgmental. This first meeting is vital for making participants feel welcomed and comfortable. Really encourage them to do this challenge as it has been quite eye-opening for many. Key Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.” Knowing that God’s love is personal affects the way people see God and themselves. God is no longer a cosmic being but has an intimate, personal presence in their lives. He is real. Our lives matter to Him! They will start treating God more as a friend than some impersonal creator. They will begin to realize that Jesus is present in every aspect of their lives. This first lesson is an opportunity to see where people are at and open their eyes to what could be with God. They may have misconceptions in regards to God’s character and action in their lives. This lesson is the starting point that will help them begin to reach out to God as He reaches out to them. It may be the very first time that they take a step towards knowing God as a real presence in their lives. 95
  96. 96. Lesson 2: Love’s Initiative Goal: that participants would come to the realization that our sin has separated us from God, but that the Father takes the initiative to reconcile our relationship with him.      We see that God gave human beings free will. Participants review the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. They look at what sin is as well as the attitudes behind it and its consequences. It is important to understand the “bad news” of sin and death in order to grasp and appreciate the Good News offered by Jesus. The story of the prodigal son emphasizes that God's love is merciful, proven and offered. Prepare this section well so that you can draw participants into this picture of the Father's love. The challenge sets up a wonderful opportunity for you to invite group members to go to Mass with you. Begin by asking if anyone does not know where to go to Mass/Mass times. Suggest going to Mass together and then out for coffee/breakfast. Key Verse: Romans 5:8 “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Knowing that God loves us even in our sin affects our understanding of God and ourselves. Before having this knowledge, someone might see God as judgemental – they might believe that God loves them but be afraid that they could lose that love at any point. This news shows them God’s mercy and hope begins to stir that we may also have a second chance with God. You may want to ask the question: “Have you ever had someone forgive you for something that you thought was unforgivable or even just awful? How did it make you feel when you were forgiven? How might it feel?" It is likely that in experiencing forgiveness we experience the same feelings the prodigal son did: freedom, greater love, respect and fidelity towards the other, a compulsion to do the same for others, great joy. 96
  97. 97. Lesson 3: Jesus Christ – Our Lord Goal: that participants would come to see, through Scripture, that Jesus is God.    The central point of this lesson is that Jesus is God. This fact is absolutely central if the Christian message is to have any grounding. Unfortunately, as CCO questionnaires on campus indicate, many Catholics do not understand that Jesus is, in fact, God. It is extremely important that we communicate this truth to participants. This may be the first time they hear a clear explanation of Christ’s divinity. We will study a number of Scripture selections in which Jesus identifies himself as God. We also see in these narratives that the people listening to Jesus understood what he was saying. Some like to add to this lesson a discussion of the logic behind Jesus’ claim to be God with the "Trilemma" argument originating wtih C.S. Lewis and further extrapolated by Peter Kreeft with the "Quadrilemma". Key Verse: John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Knowing that Jesus is not simply a good moral teacher, but God, should change the way one perceives him. If Jesus is Lord and God then His actions on earth were more than just good moral teachings. He is the way, the truth and the life. We must then choose whether or not we will allow Him to be Lord of our life. This also makes all the difference in comparison with other religions. The Christian faith is unique because it emphasizes more than just moral teachings and a way of life, and it hinges on the very identity of its founder and the truth of his life, death, and resurrection. Knowing that Jesus is our Lord and our God is the key to believing that Jesus is actually able to bridge the gap in lesson 4. If Jesus is not God then the Christian faith is meaningless. We need to believe that Jesus has the power and authority to work and move in our lives if we are to trust and follow him as our Lord. 97
  98. 98. Lesson 4: Jesus Christ – Our Saviour Goal: for participants to realise that Jesus saves them from their sins through his passion, death and resurrection.       The goal of this lesson is to help participants see that Jesus’ purpose on earth was to suffer, die for our sins and rise, in order to restore our broken relationship with God. The bridge illustration from St. Catherine of Siena is central to this lesson. It is important that you practice explaining it (drawing it and asking the questions). Participants do not have the diagram in their student guides; the leader draws it for them to copy. We do not want this lesson to seem trite or simplistic. It is thus important that the bridge analogy be shared with appropriate passion and conviction. Do not rush through your explanation of the bad news (the results of sin, death and separation). This helps us appreciate our need for Christ's sacrifice. It is important to understand the theological explanation of Jesus’ identity to properly answer question 8. Read the leader notes very carefully. These notes explain that Jesus is fully God and fully man. As a human being, Jesus could die on our behalf. As God, his sacrifice has infinite value. Practice explaining the “Feather Pillow” and "Lifeguard" analogies. Key Verse: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It is truly important that participants understand the total hopelessness of the situation sin causes. We cannot conquer sin, death, and separation on our own. We need to recognize our need for help. Knowing our need for a Saviour adds urgency to our relationship with him and in seeking him out. Being a good person and going to church is no longer good enough. We begin to recognize that our relationship with Jesus is fundamental to our salvation and in fact, we cannot experience eternal life apart from his passion, death and resurrection. 98
  99. 99. Lesson 5: The Universal Call – Personally Yours Goal: that the participants would be invited to receive the gift of salvation and live a new relationship with God          This lesson is the culmination of the study. In this lesson, participants are given an opportunity to invite Jesus to be at the centre of their lives. It is important to prepare the material well and to intercede for your participants. Many lives have been changed through the sharing of this lesson. This lesson emphasizes that God’s incredible love is offered. In this lesson, we will revisit the bridge illustration and discuss how to cross to God’s side of the river. The bridge illustration emphasizes that salvation is a gift. God invites us to accept the love he offers. Our faith is not meant to be private and hidden. It will be an important act of faith for your participants to bear witness to their beliefs publicly when they decide to commit (or recommit) themselves to Jesus. It is important to practice explaining “the relationships diagram”. The appendix of this study includes reference material on typical stumbling blocks people encounter when introduced to “the relationships diagram”. At the end of the lesson, invite participants to meet with you for the Discovery Follow-Up. This will give you an opportunity to talk to each person about his/her relationship with God. You should also be prepared to help participants find an opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. Key Verse: Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” Making a decision for Christ is an important and necessary step. This decision allows us to choose, as adults, the gift of salvation Jesus offers (and that we may have initially received at our Baptism). For some this might be the first time that they understand so clearly what it means to be in a relationship with God. A decision like this can be likened to "planting a flag", a firm decision by which we orient our lives from here on in. In clearly understanding this decision and how Jesus is their Lord and Saviour, they will consequently have greater ownership of their faith and involvement in the life of the Church. For those who may be making this decision for the first time, this event is not to be taken lightly. It is important that we celebrate and support each person as they make this decision. Scriptures tell us that “there is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over the 99 righteous persons” (Luke 15:7). This is a big deal! We need to rejoice in their decision. Keep in mind that often, after having made the decision to invite Christ at the centre of their life, they will feel confused or doubt the power of that commitment. It is important that we are ready to follow-up, support, and encourage them as they begin this new journey with God. 99