Lay Life in a Year

52 Reflections on JPII's vision for the Laity

Week 23 : Identity and Mission of Lay Christians

Who are you supposed to be and what are you supposed to do?

The answer is really the center of the entire document because it has the potential to change everything about our lives.

John Paul II does not mince words: You cannot be a Christian and live just like everyone else. If we find our way of living Christianity is mostly compatible with modern life, then we are doing it wrong. Baptism sets us apart and makes us different.

But we work, study, live, get married, have friends, and in many ways do the same sorts of things that everyone else does. We still live in the secular world.

But we are not of the world. The lay person lives a “radical newness of life.” And this fact—that we are to live in the world in an entirely different way—is what defines a lay Christian.

But it is not enough that baptism transforms our life. Our presence in the world transforms the secular too! Our “involvement and participation has as its purpose the spreading of the Gospel.”

Everything about our lives should transform the world around us to be more in line with the Gospel. 

John Paul II makes a bold claim: The Kingdom Christ promised comes primarily through the way you live your life. Jesus’ mission, the Church’s mission is YOU.

Lay Life in a Year Overview

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Week 22 : Responsible for the Church’s Mission

Have you ever told God no?  Moses did. He tried to get out of going to Egypt and came up with all sorts of excuses. Faced with the weight of this responsibility he began to panic: “Who am I?” “What do I tell them?” “Suppose they don’t believe me or listen to me?” “I...

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Week 21 : Kingly Mission

Without a kingdom to rule, the title of “king” is just empty. A king's true identity and purpose are tied to his realm and responsibilities. Since all Christians are called to share in the kingship of Christ, this means that Christians have a real "kingdom" where we...

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Week 20 : Prophetic Mission

Ezekiel cooked his food over cow poop to symbolize the defiled food the Israelites would eat in exile (Ezekiel 4:12-15).  John the Baptist ate locusts.  And as a way to show how Israel failed to cling to Him, God told Jeremiah to buy some underwear, wear it, then hide...

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