Below is an excerpt from an article called “Pope Francis and the Reform of the Laity” by Fr. Roger Landry published in the National Catholic Register on May 10, 2013.
The layperson is a layperson and has to live as a layperson with the power of baptism, which enables him to be a leaven of the love of God in society itself, to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from a pulpit but from his everyday life. And, like all of us, the layperson is called to carry his daily cross — the cross of the layperson, not of the priest.”
The reform of the laity… must involve reforming them to become “missionary disciples in communion.”
Those four words define the lay vocation: converted followers of Jesus, who, together with others, share Jesus’ life and faithfully seek to spread their joy, life and love to those who have not yet come into that twofold communion. It’s a community of believers trained and inspired to go out to transform politics, society, education, neighborhoods, family and marriages. It’s a brotherhood of Good Samaritans drawing near to neighbors with love and mercy. It’s the faithful who are the salt of the earth and not just salty critics of the Church. It’s a body of torchbearers radiating Christ’s light rather than hiding it within the bushel basket of self-referential, spiritually worldly and ultimately “sick” parochial or diocesan structures.
Pope Francis has begun the exodus leading to this reform, taking us by example to the outskirts of human existence and sketching for us the journey ahead. The real work, however, still needs to take place in hearts, homes, parishes, movements and schools across the Catholic world.