Which comes first in Kerygmatic Catechesis: Sin or Christ?
The indefatigably insightful Msgr Charles Pope has recently plotted a helpful way forward for kerygmatic catechesis. Yet his content starts with, “Part 1 (Sept. to Jan.) – Sin – ‘I once was lost in sin’”
A Mr Miller puts an attractive alternative curriculum in the combox: “Jesus himself would be the explicit focal point …. the ‘sin’ focal point, replaced by something along the lines of ‘God, creator of heaven and earth, savior of Israel’. Sin would be … secondary to the theme of creation and God’s gratuitous love for humanity and for Israel … to emphasize that we are fundamentally made for good, that our starting point is in love” (our emphasis).
In FAITH movement we would agree, especially concerning catechesis for an age which rampantly denies ‘human nature’ (and the spiritual soul). We would go further and say “made for” God in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:4, cf. 2 Tim 1:9). He is after all “the first born of all creation” (Col 1:15).
This is the “recapitulation” vision of the Greek Fathers’ that “The Word was made flesh to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature’” (Catechism 460, see quotes from the Fathers there). St John Paul II wrote, "Christ … is the one who reveals God's plan for all creation and … ‘fully reveals man to man’ … In him the Father has spoken the definitive word about mankind and its history …. Jesus Christ is … the fulfilment of all things in God”. (Tertio Millennio Adveniente n.4, 5 & 6). Pope Benedict argues that “St. John ….reveals that the ‘Logos … made flesh among us’ … is ultimately the meaning for the creation of the universe … in him converge without confusion the author and his work”. (Verbum Domini para 13).
May / June 2018
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