This weekend we experienced the Encounter Christ Retreat, where Fr. John Riccardo and his team from Acts XXIX led us through a meditation on the fundamental story of salvation:
The Kerygma is the “good news” that we refer to when we talk about the Gospel. The kerygma is what we are called to experience, know and share with others. It is the foundation and the engine of our faith and life as Catholics and Christians. So throughout the rest of Lent, our preaching series will focus on this world-changing message. The breakdown of our preaching during the Lenten season will be as follows:
• Created: we were created good, by a Good and loving God who made us out of love and for love. The story of our creation is the fact that you have infinite worth and dignity, because you are made in the image and likeness of God.
• Captured: we have an enemy! An enemy who doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep, and who has been doing this for a very long time. The devil hates us, and has enslaved us through sin. We were under the dominion of Sin, Death and the Devil, and we could not rescue ourselves. People who know the helplessness and pain of addiction have felt this reality in an acute way, but every single one of us has been captured and needs a Savior.
• Rescued: This is the liberation mission of our God, who enters into our world “as if in disguise” (CS Lewis) to rescue us. Jesus does this as the plan of mercy of the entire Trinity, through His Incarnation, His preaching and teaching, His healing and exorcisms, and ultimately through His death on the Cross and Resurrection. The Cross is our King waging war against our captor. And the true King is victorious!
• Response: The entire mission and purpose of the Church is the response to God’s rescue operation. Everything we do: sacraments, prayer, service, evangelization, is done as agents of sabotage to continue the rescue operation of Jesus today. As we end the Lenten Season and begin Easter, we will take seriously the command of Jesus to respond to what He has done for us by being the Church unleashed in the world.
I pray that we may all journey through this Lenten Season with hearts open to receive all that the Lord desires to give us. May we be changed by this time and may we experience, know and share the good news of the Gospel in a new and powerful way.