Renewing, Church, mission and faith. These are the four words that according to Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput of Philadelphia require greater attention in the Year of Faith. The prelate recently gave an address at the Catholic Life Congress in Philadelphia entitled: “Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith”, underlining the importance of a saintly life and “who we need to be and who we need to become”.
Regarding the word “renewing”, Archbishop Chaput recalled that “over time even the strongest marriage can wear down with hardship or fatigue. Couples renew their vows to remember and reinforce their love for each other. The story of the Church is much the same. History has shown again and again that, over time, the life of the Church can become routine; then an afterthought; and then stagnant and cynical, or worse”. Then the Archbishop analized the second word “Church” stating that “the Church is not a 'what' but a 'who'; not an 'it', but a 'she'”.
The third word is mission. “Our mission, our purpose and task as Christian disciples, is simple...We need to bring Jesus Christ to the whole world and the whole world to Jesus Christ. Our mission flows straight from the inner life of the Trinity. God sent his Son. The Son sends his Church. And the Church sends us”.
Lastly the Archbishop of Philadelphia explained the authentic meaning of the word “faith” stating that it “is not an emotion. It’s not a set of doctrines or ideas, though all these things play an important part in the life of faith. Faith is confidence in things unseen based on the word of someone we know and love, in this case God. Faith is a gift of God. He chooses us”.