January: Reflection One, Year of Faith.

Year of FaithLess than three months after his election as Pope, John XXIII gave notice of his intention to convene an Ecumenical Council. He is reported to have explained why the Council was needed, saying, “I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.”‘

The Story Behind Vatican II

The Year of Faith commemorates two great events in the history of the Church. One is the Vatican Council and the other is the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Sixty years ago, Pope John XXIII, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to call for all the Bishops of the world to come to Rome and have a big meeting which was called a Council. Because it was held in Rome it was called the Vatican Council. Because there had already been a Council at the Vatican a hundred years previously, this one was called Vatican II.

Pope John realized that after the Second World War, many things had changed in the world. He felt that the Church needed to be updated so that it was more in tune with the changing times, the changing life-styles, the changing attitudes of people. For example, sixty years ago, the Mass was in Latin and people no longer were learning Latin and didn’t understand what they were saying.

So the Bishops met, 2000 of them and made many decisions. They decided to have the mass in every language so people could understand. They decided that the church had to give more space to lay people to help them share better in the mission of Jesus. They made it clear that the work of the Church is to spread the Gospel. They said the Church should get more involved in modern technology especially for communication. They stressed the importance of family life for the good of the Church and society. These are only some of the decisions they made. Many of their decisions have already been implemented, for example, we have ministers of the Eucharist whereas long ago there were none. Here in Southern Africa the Bishops continue to carry on with the decisions of the Council to make the Church here more relevant to life today in our part of the world.

Questions for reflection and action.

How do you think that the Church in Southern Africa has responded to the invitation to give the lay people a share in the work of the Church? Give examples.

What can we do in our parish or group to create opportunities for lay people to have a share in church activities?

What would you personally like to do in the Church?

How can you make your parish more like a family of God?

How can you make your family more like a miniature church?


>> Year of Faith


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.