This year will be a good occasion for the faithful to understand more profoundly that the foundation of Christian faith is “the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Founded on the encounter with the Risin Christ, faith can be rediscovered in its wholeness and all its splendor. “In our days too faith is a gift to rediscover, to cultivate and to bear witness to” because the Lord “grants each one of us to live the beauty and joy of being Christians.”
The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in our Days: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, called by Blessed Pope John XXIII (October 11, 1962), and the twentieth year of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, given to the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II, (October 11, 1992).
The Council, according to Pope John XXIII, wanted to transmit doctrine in such a way that “this sure and immutable teaching, which must be respected faithfully, is elaborated and presented in a way which corresponds to the needs of our time.” In this regard, the opening words of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentiusm, remain of primary importance: “Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Godpel to every creature, (cfr. Mk 16:15) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the count. Beginning with the light of Christ, which purifies, illuminates and sanctifies in the celebration of the sacred liturgy (cfr. Sacrosanctum Concilium) and with His divine word (cfr Dei Verbum, the Council wanted to elaborate on the intimate nature of the Church (cfr Lumen Gentium) and its relationship with the contemporary world (cfr Gaudium et spes).
Around these four Constitutions, the true pillars of the Council, are arranged the Declarations and Decrees which address some of the major challenges of our day.
The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today – capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the “door of faith.” This “door” opens wide man's gaze to Jesus Christ, present among us “always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20) He shows us how “the art of living” is learned “in an intense relationship with him.”
Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith.