Why has Pope Francis already repeated several times those words of his predecessor Benedict on evangelization, when he explained that the Church grows by attraction and not by proselytism? Is it not in the nature and mission of the Church to "conquer" proselytes? In reality, Benedict's words taken up by his successor Francis speak to us of a method, which is the method that God always had: not that of coercing freedom. Not that of great historical events, not that of extraordinary interventions, but that of communication in the whisper of the breeze, in the brilliance of beauty, in the attractiveness of a life that bears witness to itself.
We can discover this conviction in the history of the Church and in how the Christian faith was communicated. In the perspective of Francis, it is convenient to understand some consequences, and above all this: the believer knows that he has to be a missionary, but that his main mission is not to bring something to someone, but to be a protagonist and to be able to give something to others who need it. For example, speaking on the subject of the geographical and existential peripheries, the mission is not primarily to bring to the poor or the desperate our proclamation, as if it were something that we ourselves possess, and that because we are Christians we give so that those who receive it can be converted.
The perspective is different and asks us for a continuous conversion. It is that of the missionary who goes to the peripheries to look for something he needs. He goes to seek the face of God in the poor and needy, to be evangelized by touching in them the flesh of Jesus Christ. The Pope explained it very well on January 6. Christians are not those who talk a lot, lament, study marketing strategies to win people for their ecclesial "enterprise". They are like beggars who seek every day to meet God in the encounter with those in need. And as Cardinal Parolin recently said, speaking of the Christian roots of Europe: "Christians are not expected to say what to do, but to show by their lives the way to go.".