Catholics should be active heralds of the New Evangelisation by living the faith they profess and influencing individuals in their respective communities, workplaces and families, this according to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Lay people need not be ordained to proclaim the Good News. In fact, their lay status gives them a vital role in the mission of the Catholic Church in propagating its moral and spiritual ideals to its people.
“The responsibility of priests is to recognise the gifts present in their community, eventually nourishing and developing the laity to be one in communion and salvation,” the prelate explained.
“The plan of God does not intend to make the ordained ministers shoulder the entire mission of the Catholic Church. Lay people have a responsibility to fulfil as well,” Tagle said in his talk at the Magpas or First Saturday Catechesis of Manila archdiocese.
In the address he delivered at the Cardinal Sin Auditorium of the Paco Catholic School in Manila, citing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, Tagle said that priests are expected to “promote the dignity of the laity and the role proper to them” to help church ministers carry out their mission in the church and in the world. “Christ has called them to become lay persons and they have chosen to heed His call,” he added.
Since they are present in every area of society, lay people can reach a wider scope of people, Tagle noted. “The spheres of family, labour, business, technology, science, culture, and media, among many others, are the primary places where the laity participates. Their mission is to bring back faith back to these places,” he said.
To do this, it is not enough for lay individuals to display their religiosity by merely attending Masses. They must live the faith they profess in their respective workforces to influence more people.
The Filipino cardinal also urged politicians to bring the teachings of Christ to their world so people will no longer judge the country’s political system as an arena tainted by corruption and opportunism.
“If you politicians are serious about your being Christian, bring the kingdom of Christ and His Gospel there. No one will ever clean your world but yourselves,” he said.
“I hope that before the end of the Year of Faith, more lay people will be trained to become effective heralds of the Word,” he added.