Year of Faith starts on October 11, 201 and will conclude on November 24, 2013. It marks two very important anniversaries in the Catholic Church: 1st: The 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the “Second Vatican Council (Oct. 11th-1962 to Dec 8th-1965)” and 2nd: The 20th Anniversary of the publication of “The Catechism of the Catholic Church (October 11-1992)” by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Why does this matter?
Because it is a Fantastic way of knowing what the Catholic Church teaches. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the explanation of Faith divided into 4 broad sections: what we believe, how we worship, how we live and how we pray.
The Pope urges us to profess, celebrate and be witness to our faith. He is aware of the fact and instances that the Catholic Church being ridiculed, criticized, persecuted and continually branded as the fake religion by other sectors more than ever.
But how can we profess and defend our faith? How can we celebrate and be witnesses to the truth, beauty and joys of our faith?
Profession of faith by learning the Apostle’s Creed by heart, reading the bible or few paragraphs of the catechism or studying the documents of the Vatican is not enough. We have to go to confession and attend mass and join in the celebration of the Eucharist, and join the church worldwide. We have to live by our faith and be able to share in the evangelization. We must be very proud and brave to show and profess our catholic faith. Evangelization starts in our own home and the family. The parents being able to at least take their kids to the church during the mass even though they still do not understand the full meaning of what and why they have to do such – awaken curiosity and pave the way to discovering by themselves the meaning and significance of the practices.
Let us not just be plain and self-confessed or professed catholic. We must live as “One”. Defend our faith instead of just being passive or mums about certain issues being thrown and accused against the Roman Catholic Church. Defense does not mean by revolt or any form of hostile uprising. We can defend by evangelizing, sharing, commenting on issues, prayer vigils, supporting the causes and programs of the church, helping others, living a Christian life and be example to others.
The Year of Faith is a challenge for us. There are issues now that we can show how we can be united in faith. As our Blessed Pope John Paul II said in his homily during his papal inauguration “Non abbiate paura!” meaning - Do not be afraid.
We are free and we have the right to voice out and stand firm on our faith. We are free and have the right to express our oppositions to issues such as same sex marriages, legalization of abortion, modern and artificial contraception, RH Bill, ordination of women priest and other issues against the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.
More than ever, we have the responsibility to guard and defend the church. Spread, evangelize and be living witnesses to our faith. We have the right to vote and choose candidates who will rule our nations. Let us unite in the name of our faith in Christ. Ask His Guidance in choosing the right candidates for good governance. Let us go for religious freedom and stop suppression and persecution of the Catholic Church and the faithful.
Do not be afraid! Open, in deed, open wide the doors to Christ! Open to His saving power! Do not be afraid! Christ knows 'what is inside a person'. Only he knows!