Press release of the German Bishops’ Conference, www.dbk.de •
Today (=Sunday, August 30, 2015) Cardinal Reinhard Marx called for a committed profession of faith and witness to the Christian faith. Christian witness to the world shows that “we are there with disinterested love, and accept the needs and cares of the people”, Cardinal Marx said in his sermon during Holy Mass for pilgrims at the place of pilgrimage, Schoenstatt, near Koblenz. He invited the people to ask what constitutes the faith: “What do we believe, whom do we confess, who has sent us out?” he asked. It is therefore necessary to look into the Sacred Scriptures and understand the extraordinary image of God. “It is a challenge to listen to the same old words again and again, and in the process to discover new things. A central concept of the Scriptures is the covenant. People cannot understand the mystery of the world; it is presented to us and enters into communion with us. This mystery – God – enters into a covenant with human beings. It isn’t a scrap of paper, but a contract to achieve something together: That is the covenant of God with humankind.” This contract, said Cardinal Marx, has as its goal, and is directed towards, the renewal of the whole world. “God’s covenant with his people shows that the people have been sent out to explain to the world what is a good, successful and true life.” Entering into such a covenant means that people belong together, “but at the same time don’t forget the others”; they are always “with the others”. That also shows in the self-understanding of the Church, “who is not there for herself. Our commission as Church is to renew the whole world in Christ. God approaches people; the People of God has received a commission, a mission from God, a new way of life, a new way of dealing with one another: to invite all the world, to point the way. That is true evangelization”, said Cardinal Marx.
Entering into the covenant, however, always requires a renewal and deepening, Cardinal Marx emphasized. “That is why Schoenstatt’s idea of the covenant is an important example, which was impressively shown last year at the hundredth anniversary of Schoenstatt: It was an incentive for the whole Church. It was a deepening of the covenant of love, which its founder, Fr Joseph Kentenich, wanted. Renewing the covenant also includes the internalization of the Covenant. We don’t need the self-justification of people, we cannot exalt ourselves before God; we have to stand before God and receive from him. The renewal of the covenant with God is the cultivation of our personal relationship with God. Prayer serves to do this; it gives us the inner strength for this renewal and internalization.”
Cardinal Marx called out to the three hundred pilgrims in Schoenstatt, “The power of inner prayer makes up the future of the Church; it is an inner covenant of people with God in which they know: I have been accepted and loved. That is the source of strength for entering into a covenant with others and for being on the way with God, and to affirm this covenant.” In the Schoenstatt Movement this shows in its special commitment to families. “Here they show in life how wonderful it is to be a family, and how God’s covenant with people can succeed. We need this witness to the world also in the time to come. It shows clearly that as Christians we live with disinterested love. We are there for the people also from other religions and outlooks on life; also for those who reject us. We are there when people are in need! That is also a testimony arising from our covenant promise to God”, Cardinal Marx said.
Source: Press release of German Bishops’ Conference
Original: German. Translation: Mary Cole, Manchester, UK