Ordinary Sunday of August in Manila - Tondo Parish of Saint John Bosco a good time with the six-SDB-strong community and the parish environment of 70.000 people.
Since the visit of Pope Paul VI in Tondo, the standard of life improved, however, still many poor people are coming to the capital city through the sea port of Manila (next door from the parish). One hour long visit in the barangay (barrio) narrow streets full of people, walking with one young Salesians and some 50 junior catechist - young missionaries (13-19 years of age) was a memorable experience. They reach every week in the streets of their district many other youth to invite them to meet Jesus.
Yes, it was a good chance to ponder on the insisting invitation of Pope Francis
(Evangelii Gaudium, 110)
I would now like to speak of the task which bears upon us in every age and place, for “there can be no true evangelization without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord”, and without “the primacy of the proclamation of Jesus Christ in all evangelizing work”,,,
As Pope Benedict says strongly:
“It is important always to know that the first word, the true initiative, the true activity comes from God and only by inserting ourselves into the divine initiative, only begging for this divine initiative, shall we too be able to become – with him and in him – evangelizers”. This principle of the primacy of grace must be a beacon which constantly illuminates our reflections on evangelization.
(Evangelii Gaudium, 164)
...we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the centre of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal. The kerygma is trinitarian.
The fire of the Spirit is given in the form of tongues and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ who, by his death and resurrection, reveals and communicates to us the Father’s infinite mercy.
On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” This first proclamation is called “first” not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things.
It is first proclamation in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment.
For this reason too, “the priest – like every other member of the Church – ought to grow in awareness that he himself is continually in need of being evangelized” (Pope Francis)
Dear Jesus, help us always be focused on your Love and share with others always and again your saving gifts!