On September 16, world-renowned Bible scholar and theology professor Dr. Scott Hahn launched Christendom College’s Major Speaker Program, delivering a lecture on “The Bible, the Eucharist, and the New Evangelization.”
“We face the task of re-evangelizing the de-Christianized,” Hahn said. “The cause of de-Christianization has been this oppressive secularization, which doesn’t just cause us to forget the faith, but it causes us to become more and more distant from those structures that make it real.”
Hahn explained that just as human love and relationships lead to a sacrament—Matrimony—so too does our love and relationship with God lead to a sacrament—the Eucharist. He noted that it was Blessed Pope John Paul who first called for the new evangelization to be based on the Eucharist and, citing and a paper by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, he said, “all evangelizers proclaim Christ, but Catholic evangelizers proclaim a Eucharistic Christ.”
“But there is something else that is new about the new evangelization,” Hahn said. “It isn’t just for clergy. It isn’t just for missionaries. It isn’t just for those who go out to the foreign lands. It’s for each and every single one of us. Not only to go out and share the faith, but also to allow ourselves to be evangelized and converted.”
Hahn debunked the myth that St. Francis said, “preach the Gospel at all times and use words when necessary,” saying that there is no proof or historical record of the saint saying those words to his friars.
“I would want to say this to those who use that as an excuse,” he continued. “Just look in the mirror some evening and ask yourself, ‘Am I so upright, so virtuous, so compelling that all people really need to do is just keep their eyes on me and my life and that should be sufficient to give them the grace of conversion?’ Before you answer that question yourself, ask your spouse or your roommate. You may be in for a surprise.”
Hahn said that Catholics must not only recognize their need to evangelize, but also their need to be evangelized themselves in their family life and marriages.
“Conversion is life long,” he said. “It is ongoing. It is ever deepening. It is daily. And it is also difficult.”
Concluding, Hahn said that all Catholics are involved in the new evangelization, but very few Catholics are going to be equipped like Christendom students.
“Very few Catholics are ever going to be launched like Christendom grads,” he said. “Let me just ask you those old questions: if you don’t, who will? And if you wait, when will it happen? And if you say ‘yes,’ I got to tell you, stand back and watch, because God wants to do more through us than we want Him to do.”
He encouraged the students to study and pray hard and to take all that they have gained from the college out into the world.
“What you are learning here is what the world is dying for,” he said. “I hope that none of you ever get to the point where you take it for granted. This is one of the largest slices of heaven on earth.”
This inspiring talk can be downloaded at Christendom on iTunes U, christendom.edu/itunesu.
An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Scott Hahn has delivered numerous talks nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics related to Scripture and the Catholic faith. Over 500 of these talks have been produced in audio and video formats by St. Joseph Communications. These talks have been effective in helping thousands of Protestants and fallen away Catholics to embrace the Catholic faith. He is currently a Professor of Theology and Scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and is the founder and director of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. A profound author of many books, Hahn received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a triple-major in Theology, Philosophy, and Economics from Grove City College, Penn., in 1979, his Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology from Marquette University in 1995.
About the Major Speaker Program
Christendom College’s Major Speaker Program is an important aspect of the academic life at the College, offering the students and community an opportunity for cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment beyond the classroom. The program offers students the opportunity to gain greater insights and depth of understanding of important issues, and to interact personally with a wide range of men and women who are shapers and critics of our society.