In the current reality of the COVID-19 world, many of us are struggling with lots of questions. Like how do we live in a “shelter-in-place” world where we have to practice social distancing? Or how can I ensure that someone I love isn’t going to get sick if they have to go to work or go to the grocery store to obtain food? But probably the most frequent is, when will this all be over?
For us as Catholics, this connects to questions that have been addressed in previous articles about how might it be possible for my family and I to practice our faith, especially now since public Mass is currently suspended? Or how might we as parents or grandparents form our children in the faith as the domestic church?
The answer to each of these questions actually lays at the heart of our faith—the kerygma.
The kerygma is the bold proclamation that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. That Jesus is our Lord and Savior, who, through His suffering, death and resurrection has conquered darkness, sin and death, and made it possible for us to enjoy eternal life in union with our Heavenly Father.
The kerygma is what we rejoice in and celebrate during the Easter season.
And Jesus tells His disciples (every one of us!) in Matthew 28:19, “Go out and proclaim the Good News and baptize all the nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Now, what Jesus commands us to do might seem impossible since we can’t go out anywhere at the moment. Yet, during these extraordinary circumstances, it might actually be easier to proclaim the kerygma, especially to our families.
Because the reality is that only way to truly proclaim the kerygma is to LIVE it out in our daily lives.
Now what might “living the kerygma” look like in our marriages, families and households?
It looks like patience and kindness with one another rather than being irritable or short-tempered. It looks like gentleness with the youngest or oldest in the family as someone refrains from using sharp words or becoming impatient as meals are prepared or household chores are undertaken. It looks like self-control from indulging in things that distract or are unhealthy so time can instead be spent in conversation. It looks like joyful sharing around the dinner table or laughter in the midst of family activities. But most of all, it looks like people of peace and love who treat one another as the precious children of God that they are.
In all of these ways, we are proclaiming the kerygma by our very lives, and serves as one of the greatest ways in which we can help form our children in the faith. Helping our children, or grandchildren, to grow in virtue each day, permits them the opportunity to become ever more fully the signs of love and mercy that God created each of them to be within our families, and this, in turn, allows every member of the family to grow in the knowledge that they are beloved and worthy of love.
A life in which—with Christ, through Christ and in Christ, we can be the saints God created us to be.
This is what can happen when we LIVE the kerygma out in our daily life.
In addition to growing in virtue each day through acts of love and sacrifice, it is also important to spend time together as a family in prayer, especially by meditating upon God’s Word found in Sacred Scripture. For as we come to learn and know more about God’s story, He, in turn, will reveal to each of us how we have an unrepeatable personal mission to fulfill in the world through the stories we share with one another.
Sharing our stories matters a lot. For it is through our stories—about our attempts (and our failures) of our trying to live out our lives in loving union with Christ—that we can then powerfully proclaim the Good News to others, especially to those closest to us.
So, in this extraordinary time in which we have been given the blessing of time together as a family, share your stories. Especially share your story about who Jesus is for you and how He has changed your life. And then continue proclaiming that story by LIVING it out in your daily life as you strive to grow in the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
This is how we become holy. This is how we become saints.
And this is the essence of what it is to truly be a family, the “domestic church.”
So, go out and proclaim the Gospel by the witness of your lives.
He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author of the soon to be published book, Say Yes: Discovering Purpose, Peace and Abundance in Daily Life, as well as speaker, coach and host of the Say Yes to Holiness podcast. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while empowering, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same.
If you want to learn more about how to embrace the life God created you for and discover more purpose, peace and abundance in your daily life, then make sure to join me during the week of April 20th for the SAY YES TO HOLINESS TODAY Masterclass Workshop. To get more information, either send a direct message to @sayyestoholiness on Facebook, or send an email to: email@example.com.
You can also Text to Join the email list by texting SAYYESTOHOLINESS to 66866 or sign up for the weekly Say Yes to Holinessnewsletter here. You can also listen to the Say Yes to Holiness podcast or learn more about her ministry efforts at: www.sayyestoholiness.com and www.christinasemmens.com