“Always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have” (1 Pt 3:15b).
I am writing this as the Year of Faith approaches its last phase. In celebrating the year, inevitably the knowledge and conviction of our faith deepen. And we simply cannot keep the Good News to ourselves! Thus the Year of Faith also calls for a New Evangelisation.
This call presupposes a realisation that our present methods and expressions are no longer attractive and may not appeal to the modern societies which are caught up by, drifted along and even pushed by changes that swept across the globe; changes that are expedited by advancement in science and technology, and by insatiable human greed.
We need to recognise that such changes, if not properly handled, are leading towards a crisis of faith. Already individualism and relativism are two undercurrents that are creeping into the mindsets of many.
Reading the “signs of the times,” Catholics are summoned to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the Lord. We are called to live and share our faith anew in ardour, methods and expressions.
In our response to the call of the New Evangelisation, I would encourage our people to first encounter the person of Jesus and be serious in a relationship with Him. What happens after that will be the leading of the Spirit who “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you” (Jn 14:25b). One such programme which could be of great help is the Catholic Alpha course.
The introduction of the Alpha course ten years ago in this region has been a good preparation in addressing the “crisis” around us. This course addresses the basic question of the meaning of life. It leads the searchers not to an ideology or a belief system but to the person of Jesus Christ, the incarnated Son of the Living God. It is through Him, with Him, and in Him that one finds the authentic meaning of life. I vouch for the relevance of this course to the modern man.
Most Rev John Wong Soo Kau
Episcopal President for Mission