What Exactly IS the Good News?

risen Christ Jesus

In adult faith formation, all too often, we set out to provide a comprehensive curriculum of the Catholic faith before we have helped folks recognize what the core of our story is! Before we can delve deeply into the Six Tasks of Catechesis, the Four Pillars of the Catechism, the Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and so on, we need to be sure that we have presented the core of our story of Salvation. In essence, we need to provide people with an understanding of what exactly makes the Good News of Jesus so good! This means that we must evangelize (and even pre-evangelize) before we get too deep into catechesis.

Recently, I came across an outstanding article in Catechetical Leader Magazine (NCCL) by my friend Nick Wagner (Team RCIA), in which he identifies “Six Amazing Things Every RCIA Inquirer Has to Learn.” I would argue that these are six amazing things every Catholic needs to know. We tend to assume that people know what the Good News of Jesus is all about when many are unable to articulate it. Nick has done such a wonderful job of synthesizing the essence of the Good News:

  1. God is not an absent Father. (God is here, now.)
  2. There’s nothing to be afraid of. (God saves us from darkness and fear.)
  3. God brings justice and righteousness. (God is always just, fair, and righteous.)
  4. Jesus is a big deal. (Jesus completely reveals God to us.)
  5. We are a big deal too. (Disciples reveal Jesus to the world.)
  6. It only gets better from here. (We’re on a path to perfect joy.)

We need to do more to emphasize these core principles, which are at the heart of everything we teach. Thanks, Nick, for making the Good News so simple and yet profound.

About Joe Paprocki 2157 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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