Monday, October 21, 2013

Parish Symposium - Month of October 2013

The Parish of the Last Supper of Our Lord (PLSOL), Las Piñas City, held it's regular monthly symposium, Saturday, October 19, 2013. Resource person was Bro. Edwardson Juta, currently the Campus Minister of the Center for La Sallian Ministry, De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde. He talked about the Encyclical letter "LUMEN FIDEI" of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated persons and the lay faithful on Faith.

In the beginning of the book it says: The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: "I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness" (Jn 12:46). 

Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Angel Sanchez (Above Photo) 
during the introduction of the guest speaker
Bro. Edwardson Juta.
The opening prayer. 

Here's some bullet notes:

Encyclical - Litterae encyclicae
  • was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church.
  • comes from Latin encyclicus, meaning "general" or "encircling", which is also the origin of the word "encyclopedia".
  • in the strictest sense, is a letter sent by the Pope and addressed to the Bishops, Priest and Deacons, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful of the Church. 
  • is generally used for significant issues.
Lumen Fidei Overview
  • The 3rd encyclical in the series of theological virtues (Deus Caritas est, Spe Salvi, Lumen Fidei).
  • Most of the parts are credited to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
  • 1st encyclical of Pope Francis.
  • Main concern is the Evangelization.
Contents of Lumen Fidei
  • Introduction (Faith and Light)
  • Chapter I (We have believed in love, Jn. 4:16. The Journey of Faith from Abraham to Saints.)
  • Chapter II (Unless you believe, you will not understand, Is 7:9. Faith, Truth, Love and theology.)
  • Chapter III (I delivered to you what I also received, 1 Cor 15:3. Faith and Liturgy)
  • Chapter IV (God prepares a city for them, Heb 11:16. Faith and Society.)
  • Conclusion (Blessed is she who believed.)

During the talk.

Faith and Light
  • Faith has always been seen as "light".
  • John 12:46 speaks of Jesus proclaiming Himself as "the Light of the world". (I have come as a light into the world that whoever believes in me may not remain darkness.)
  • St. Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians (4:6) speaks of "God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness', has shone in our hearts".
  • Justin the Martyr spoke of Jesus as "the true sun whose rays bestows life".
Faith as our world says:
  • In our times, faith is not thought as light but darkness!
  • Actual hindrance in the quest for knowledge.
  • Illusory light.
  • Ignorance, myth, superstition and irrational moral constraint
  • Faith is not a friend and companion to reason.
  • Skeptics are just around us abandoning the search for bigger picture.
  • Do not make sense out of human existence and history.
Luman Fidei says:
  • urges us once again to see faith as a light.
  • not just one light among many lights but as the one light capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence.
  • A light which does not come from ourselves but from an encounter with God who calls and reveals His love to us, the Person of Jesus Christ.
  • Only the light of God's love in Jesus reveals us fully to ourselves, the meaning of life, unveils our dignity and destiny.
We have believed in Love.
  • It is instructive in nature.
  • Benedict XVI began this trilogy on the theological virtues of faith, hope and love.
  • Believing in God, having faith in God, therefore means believing in love.
  • It offers us a love story, the Salvation History.
Salvation History
God of love creates the world, creates man in His image and likeness, and reveals Himself to humanity.
  • beginning with Abraham, our father in faith.
  • Sustaining and deepening that revelation of His love in His people, Israel
  • Fulfilling the faith of Israel by sending His eternal Son into the world
  • continuing that mission of salvific love in and through the Church
  • until the end of time
Faith as a Memory
  • Memory of the Past - A faith that remembered what God had done in times past.
  • Memory of the Present - The "today" experience of God's love.
  • Memory of the Future - A faith that presses on to the future fulfillment that God promised.
The Memory of Jesus
  • Jesus entered human history. assumed our human nature, shared our infirmities and suffering.
  • Though innocent took upon Himself our sins, underwent the experience of death.
Faith in Jesus Christ illumines every aspect of our humanity, our history, our human nature - body, mind, spirit, our human frailty

Faith in Jesus Christ is light for every aspect of our human existence.

Faith in Jesus Christ
  • means gazing as Jesus who, in revealing the father's love, reveals us to ourselves.
  • Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus but sees things as Jesus Himself sees them.
  • It is a participation in His way of seeing.
  • It is an openness to others that makes us fit to become members of Christ's Body, the Church, the communion of faith.
  • Through communion with Christ in the Church we are opened to all others.
Unless you Believe You Will Not Understand.
  • Isaiah 7:9
  • aman (belief)
  • ta' aminu (you will believe.)
  • te' amenu (you shall be established.)
  • Greek scriptures translates "be established as understand".
  • It moves away from the biblical notion of trust in God toward a Greek notion of intellectual understanding.
  • Isaiah - to believe in God's promises is to be established upon the rock of God's truth.
  • Greek translation says that belief leads to understanding, in the sense of having our lives firmly established in the truth.
Faith negates Truth?
  • Faith illuminates the whole human existence.
  • A notion of faith which divorces it from truth.
  • Our age considers truth that can be seen and measured as the only real truth.
  • Technological and scientific truth considered to be valid.
  • Age of relativism rejects universal truth. God is crowded out of the picture. 
Faith illumines Truth.
  • LF tells us that truth is a question of memory, memory of our common origins. memory of the law written in our hearts, memory that unites us in a way that goes beyond our daily concerns.
  • So how can our Faith contribute to a proper understanding of truth?
  • St. Paul tells us that, "One believes with the heart".
  • Heart as "the core of one's being".
Faith is the Act of the Heart.
  • Faith opens us to love because love itself brings enlightenment.
  • Faith opens us to God's immense love that transforms us from within and enables us to see reality with new eyes. 
  • Without truth, love becomes a fleeting emotion and does not last.
  • True love unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing to a great and fulfilled life. 
  • Love needs truth and truth needs love.
  • Faith is not only hearing God's word but also a way of seeing. 
  • It comes from hearing but leads to sight, knowledge and understanding.
Faith and Reason
  • Faith believes in reason, in its capacity for truth.
  • Truth becomes entirely subjective. (My truth is not your truth.)
  • Faith leads to a truth of love that cannot be imposed but proposed.
Deliver what You Receive.
  • Proclaim what you have heard.
  • Allow the glory of God to shine on the face of Christ first to illumine our hearts and then to shine forth in our words and deed.
  • Faith travels from place to place, from one generation to the next.
  • How can we be certain that it is the "real Jesus" who is proclaimed and believed in?
Is it the true Jesus?
  • As individuals we cannot achieve such certainty.
  • We can if we are part of the Church's memory.
  • Through Church's memory we are all contemporaries of Jesus. 
  • Faith always takes place within the communion of the Church.
  • Faith puts us in relationship to believers.
  • However, transmitting faith is more than handling a vulnerable idea in the book.
  • The special means for passing down the fullness of faith is the sacrament.
Faith = Sacrament
  • It engages the whole person.
  • Faith has a "sacramental structure".
  • We can see how visible, material sacramental signs points us to the presence, words and deeds of Christ.
  • It enables us to touch the divine realities we profess to believe in.
  • Faith is transmitted first and foremost through Baptism.
  • In Baptism, we participate in the "Mystery of Faith."
  • We become new creation and therefore are called to live this new way of life in the Church.
  • In Baptism, we become part of salvation history.
  • The sacramental character of faith finds its highest expression in the Eucharist.
  • It is a celebrating of the "Mystery of Faith."
  • It gives us the true Presence of Christ.
  • We become present to Christ.
  • Therefore, we are contemporaries of Christ.
Unity and Integrity of Faith
  • Faith is not merely about system, like a mechanical system which requires all its parts to be in the right place and functioning properly.
  • Faith is one because the Triune God is one.
  • Faith is one because there is one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism.
  • Faith is one because it is shared by the whole Church.
  • Through the Church, we see the unity and integrity of faith.
Faith and Society
  • Faith is a light not only for a personal journey but for the whole humanity, for our lives as individuals and communities
  • It is a light for human history.
  • The light of faith provides a solid and reliable basis to build the earthly city worthy of human dignity.
  • Faith is linked to love, building relationship of love and respect.
Faith and Society
  • Society holds together on the basis of utility, fear and greed but not on the goodness of living together.
  • Faith is common good.
  • It helps earthly society to journey forward in hope to build a civilization of love.
  • Building in charity a city based on relationship in which love of God is the foundation.
The Light of Faith to Society
  • a profound understanding of human dignity
  • the very notion of personhood
  • the love of God has for each person called to eternal life
  • a sense of what makes human life precious and unique
  • an understanding that, while the world was created for man, it deserves respect
  • faith has helped discern just forms of government
  • faith offers the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation
Society and the Light of Faith
  • When faith is weakened, society is harmed; the foundation of trust is weakened.
  • Faith brings strength and consolation amid suffering.
  • Faith allows us to forget our weakness and proclaim Jesus as the Lord.
  • Faith sheds its light on the sufferings of humanity.
  • How many men and women of faith have been mediators of light for the sufferings?
Mary, a Model of Faith
  • LF makes reference to the memory of Mary who stored in her heart all "the mysteries of Christ."
  • Perfect woman of faith who also illumines our hearts.
  • LF shows how Mary is the prime exemplar of how faith shapes every aspect of our existence and sets us to follow Christ even to the foot of the Cross.

Closing prayer. Final words from Fr. Angel. 


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