This weekend, 8 married couples in the formation course and 2 couple formators, from the Philippines and Australia, gathered with the Adriana Martinez, the new General Responsible of the Married couple branch, and Mico Maricor their formator, to have a 3-day School of talks based on the temario.
The “temario” or theme-set is a great gift we have inherited from our Verbum Dei founder, Jaime Bonet. It is a series of talks like God the Father, Eternal life and Mission, which explain the Christian faith in an existential way to the world of today. Fr Jaime taught us that “The Word is written with fire, but it is the fire of the speech of the preacher that will enflame in the hearer, the speech of the person who is tremendously affected by Christ.” It is beautiful to spend time dedicating to the preparation and preaching of the Word of God, and to see lay people dedicating to the ministry of the Word.
Why to evangelize? Most Christians say that example is enough because actions speak louder than words. But the Church teaches us that “even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if it is not explained, justified - what Peter called always having <<your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have>>” (Pope Paul VI). Actually, many lay people would love to learn how to share their faith and that is precisely what Verbum Dei offers. It is vital for the Church to evangelize and to form the lay people to do so. Jaime Bonet writes “Why do I want to evangelize? … Because I desire to change hatred into love, sadness into joy, anguish and desperation into optimism and hope, sickness and death into life and resurrection.”
We also remember what Pope Benedict XVI has told us “Sometimes we tend, in fact, to reduce the term “charity” to solidarity or simply humanitarian aid. It is important, however, to remember that the greatest work of charity is evangelization, which is the “ministry of the word”. There is no action more beneficial – and therefore more charitable – towards one’s neighbor than to break the bread of the word of God, to share with him the Good News of the Gospel, to introduce him to a relationship with God: evangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person” (Lenten message, 2013).