Have you ever wondered what Catechetical Sunday is all about and why a day is set aside for this celebration?
Well, Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays in being a witness to the Gospel and to rededicate ourselves to this mission as a community of faith.
The root word of Catechetical is catechesis which means ‘to echo’ in Greek. Thus, Catechesis refers to the act of bringing the Church’s teachings to the people at large. A catechist is one who shares and teaches in the name of the Church.
All the faithful of the church or all who are baptized are called to serve as catechists in one form or another. It is a celebration of the whole church. As catechists, we are responding to a call to share the gift of faith with others and this call ultimately comes from God whose Holy Spirit inspires and guides us.
Since the Catechetical Ministry is a ministry of teaching in the name of the Church and is formally commissioned by the church, it is only right that we set aside a special day for this ministry. Those serving will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry.
As parents, you are the primary catechists for your children and their best teachers. The examples you set, such as praying together or actively participating in Mass as a family are what your children are going to learn the most. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only recognize the unique contribution of catechists but we also compliment parents or guardians and encourage them to take their role seriously in ensuring the faith is passed on to their children.
The message for this year’s Catechetical Sunday themed, “Christ, Our Mission” (Phil 1:21) is written by Archbishop Julian Leow as he is the Episcopal Advisor for Catechetical. This means that he is the bishop overseeing Catechetics for Malaysia. In his message he says that the theme is a call to all baptized Catholics to make Christ known to others.
According to the Archbishop, in this verse “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21), St. Paul is saying that his only aim is to bring glory to Jesus and that everything he is, everything he has tried to be and everything he has looked forward to becoming, pointed to Christ.
‘To live is Christ’ means we proclaim the gospel of Christ, we imitate the examples of Christ, we pursue the knowledge of Christ and give up anything that prevents us from having Christ. It also means Christ is our focus, our goal, the central point of our mind, heart, body and soul. Everything that we do, we do it for Christ’s glory.
As we celebrate Catechetical Sunday, it’s a great opportunity for us to check in and ask ourselves, if we have learned everything there is to know about our faith. Our mission is to make God apparent in the world. We should let others see Him through us. So, let us live to make Christ, Our Mission and in the words of St. Paul, “conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ”.
Puspa Rakini Narasiah