St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

The Mission of the Church - Impediments to Mission

Mission is vital to the gospel. Each of the gospels ends with a directive to a mandate to mission. The mission is not based on our abilities but rather on the power of the Holy Spirit that we shine forth. We must respect other religions in that we must respect man in his search for answers and the Holy Spirit who is driving that man. Fatigue, factionalism, de-Christianization, and indifference all make mission more difficult. To combat this, we must be focused on practical witness. We must not, however, ignore real problems in the Church while giving witness.

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24 PM

Vatican II directed the Church outward, through Ad Gentes and echoed 25 years later in the encyclical Redemptoris Missio, which describes an intentional trajectory of where the Church believes that Christ wants us to go in mission. Evangelization is the duty of all Christians, and it brings us closer to Christ. There has been, however, a decline in missionary activity in the church.

This mission comes directly from the Trinity, so it is imperative that all Christians share this love, as the love of God is what gives man his dignity. We must allow others to see how our lives have a vertical interaction with the things that are above, not just horizontally with that which is around us, and permit others the free choice that this knowledge allows.

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40 PM

The encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi instructs us that the teaching of the Church is unchanged and irreplaceable. The task of evangelizing all people is the essential mission of the Church, but the Church has a need to be evangelized herself. This is the spiritual liberation, not a human liberation, as secular humanists and modern atheists might advocate.

The techniques of evangelization must be relevant to the modern world, and centered in witness, but they cannot be updated in such a way that perverts their ultimate aim or ignores the fact that this gift comes from the Holy Spirit.

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06 PM

The Second Vatican Council was the largest council of the Church, beginning under John XXIII in October 1962 and running for four sessions until 1965, ending on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception under Paul VI. It reaffirmed and proclaimed the timeless teaching of the Church, though it did not define much new doctrine, the pastoral thrust was very important. We must follow the instruction of all ecumenical councils, even a council that does not define doctrine. The interpretation of this council can be seen through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has many references to council documents.

Two foreign words dominated the council, Aggiornamento ("bringing up to date") and Ressourcement ("going back to the sources").  Both complement each other, as without returning to the sources, we cannot be sure what we are bringing up to date, and without bringing the teaching on those sources up to date, we may be stuck in a 16th-century mindset.  Various factions vied for more and less of each at the council, but the reforming element prevailed.

Some of the major theologians who influenced the council were Karl Rahner, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx, Hans Küng as well as Karol Wojtyła (later John Paul II). Many of these major reformers formed the board of the journal Concilium, but in 1974, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Joseph Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI), concerned by some of Concilium's editors' desire for more reforms after Vatican II and not through the Church, formed a rival journal, Communio.

This conflict between those who wanted more reform outside the Church
and those who wanted to come to consensus on the council first would
continue for many years.

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11 PM

This is an exciting time to be Catholic." This episode picks up the rousing theme where the last left it off. Vatican II stressed the Church's need to engage with the modern world. The popes that followed have, with unrelenting urgency, urged every Christian to take up the task of mission. This episode sounds the call anew – in the words of Pope St. John Paul II: "the moment has come to commit all the Church's energies to a new evangelization."

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55 PM

The goal of this series is to equip Catholics to live out the mission of the Church, which is to proclaim Christ to the whole world. We will explore what this means for the faithful laity using the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The documents of the Second Vatican Council will be examined through the hermeneutic of continuity, which was championed by Pope Benedict XVI among others. This council has continued what the Church has always said, but stated with a new vigor and a focus on reaching out to the modern world. Vatican II was a council of reform, not a radical break with the past. The next six sessions will explore several important Papal Encyclicals and other Church documents from Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Francis. These documents will help us grow in faith and learn to share our faith with others. 

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14 AM

The Hebrews consecrate the Tabernacle and all of the preparations are completed one year later, even washing the hands and feet of the priests in the middle of a desert. God has created a people fit for God, and we must strive not to fall back into slavery to sin because of it.

Direct download: Exodus16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23 AM

Exodus repeats much of the information regarding the tabernacle in the final chapters, signaling the restoration of Israel to God's favor.  The Hebrews finish the tabernacle according to God's design.

Direct download: Exodus15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11 PM

After the great sin of the golden calf, Moses asks God to see His glory to know His ways. God shows Moses His reflected glory, but shields him from His face. God writes the tablets again, with no changes, to present to the people as a covenant. God instructs the Hebrews to worship Him alone, for He is a jealous god. This jealousy is a desire for an exclusive relationship, as we can see in James 4:5 and 2 Cor 11:2. God also commands that the Hebrews observe the Sabbath and the harvest feasts.

Moses comes back to the people, but shields his face with a veil to prevent the people from seeing God's glory fade. This veil separates the people from God, but Jesus removes that veil, as Jeremiah 31:31ff prophesies.

Direct download: Exodus14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04 PM

When Moses delays in coming down from Mt. Sinai, the people demand an idol of gods to go before them. Aaron makes a bull out of the people's gold, in the form of some of the Canaanite gods, and declares it to be the god that brought the Hebrews out of Egypt. God proposes to kill the Hebrews and make a great nation out of Moses, but Moses intercedes for the people. God, through Moses, directs the tribe of Levi to slay those notorious in the production of the golden calf, and for that, the tribe of Levi is ordained for service to the Lord. God tells the people that He will not be among them, for they are a stiff-necked people and He would consume them. He orders the people to take off their ornaments and mourn, and God resides in the tent of meeting outside of the camp.

Direct download: Exodus13_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 PM