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Pastoral CommunicationRev. Fr. Virgilio Ciudadano Jr.PreachingOne of the first functions of pastoral communication is the ministry ofpreaching to communicate the Word of God to people around and entrustedto us. Normally, this ministry is confined to the deacon or priest as ordainedministers. In the rite of ordination for deacons in receiving the book of theGospels, they are told: "Believe what you read, teach what you believe andpractice what you teach." To be a credible communicator, the preacherneeds first of all to 'preach' through his personal life. 'Witness of life' is thebasis for any credible pastoral communication. Such a witness makes thepreaching of the word credible.Besides this testimony of his personal life, the priest is to communicate theGospel through preaching the Word. According to Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975),preaching is always "indispensable." Pope Paul VI goes on to say that he iswell aware "that modern man is sated by talk; he is obviously often tired oflistening and, what is worse, impervious to words. We are also aware thatmany psychologists and sociologists express the view that modern man haspassed beyond the civilization of the word, which is now ineffective anduseless, and that today he lives in the civilization of the image". (No. 42) As aconsequence, the Church should "employ for the purpose of transmitting theGospel message the modern means which this civilization has produced."This, however, does not mean that the word can be neglected today. "Thefatigue produced these days by so much empty talk and the relevance ofmany other forms of communication must not, however, diminish thePermanent power of the Word, or cause a loss of confidence in it. The Wordremains ever relevant, especially when it is the bearer of the power of God"(No. 42) Preaching therefore remains necessary, but it should have quality.The homily, especially if given in the Sunday liturgy, should simple, clear,direct, well-adapted, profoundly dependent on Gospel teaching and faithfulto the Magisterium, animated by a balanced apostolic ardour and comingfrom its own characteristic nature, full of hope, fostering belief Productive ofpeace and unity". (No. 43) If the preaching of t is to be effective in movingthe minds of his hearers it must — the Vatican Council document on theministry and life of the priest Presbyterorum Ordinis (1965) —"expound theWord of God not merely in a general and abstract way but by application ofthe eternal truth of the gospel to the concrete circumstances of life" (No. 4).Already in his Encyclical Ecclesiam suam (1964) Pope Paul VI demanded forpreaching: "We must search for the principles which make for simplicity,clarity, effectiveness and authority, and so overcome our natural ineptitudePastoral Communication Notes Sem. Emmanuel Abelarde T-II1 |P a g e
in the use of this great and mysterious instrument of the Divine Word..."(No.91)Also today, St. Paul's axiom "faith comes from what is heard" retains itsrelevance because "it is the Word that is heard which leads to belief"

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Emmanuel Abelarde

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