The evangelizing passion of the Church

Except on some occasions conditioned by other events or liturgical celebrations, Pope Francis is dedicating the general audiences of this year 2023 to evangelization.

September 3, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
evangelizing church

Except on some occasions conditioned by other events or liturgical celebrations, Pope Francis is dedicating to evangelization the general hearings of this year 2023. Even those who are not familiar with this aspect of Christianity will realize that this is not just any old topic if they consider the general theme of this series of catecheses, which Francis enunciated at the beginning of the series on January 4. The title, in fact, embraces two expressions: "the passion for evangelization," which is, therefore, something deeply and intensely felt; and "the apostolic zeal of the believer," that is, we are speaking of a diligent zeal shared by each of the faithful and by the Church, to which the Lord entrusts the responsibility of spreading his Gospel. 

The content of the catechesis began with Sacred Scripture, where Jesus appears as the model and master of the evangelizing proclamation. He then reflected on the call of the first disciples and the way in which they carried out their mission; on the action of the Holy Spirit as the first protagonist; and on the apostolic condition of the Church and of all the baptized, manifested above all in witness. In these weeks, the Pope is recalling the example of some of the witnesses of Jesus Christ, beginning with St. Paul.

This issue of Omnes brings together several contributions on this dimension so essentially integrated in the teaching of the present Pontiff. It is already very apparent in the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium 2013, and since then in the constant call to live as a "Church going out". It was only a few weeks ago that the World Youth Day in LisbonThis was an extraordinary and successful manifestation of the Church's missionary awareness, aimed at proclaiming the faith to the young people of our time. Naturally, this does not mean that we should think only of an effort of the hierarchy when speaking of evangelization, no matter how hard it is worked, nor only of mass convocations, not even collective ones. The apostolate is a responsibility shared by all, which has its roots in baptism, and which each member of the faithful carries out according to his or her own vocation and in the conditions of life that are proper to him or her; in any case, as the Pope has said, he or she must know that he or she is "obliged" to give "the treasure that you have received with your Christian vocation". This is why it is translated in practice, today as always, into a very varied multiplicity of initiatives, which are just mentioned in this dossier.

It is obvious that this is not a new invention of this pontificate. This year's catecheses reflect that it has always been present in history, in many ways. The Magisterium has also recalled it with permanent impulses, nuanced by the needs of each time and the accents determined by each Pope. Also following Francis, this issue recalls the value that has Evangelii nuntiandi Paul VI as the main reference on this point; it also takes up the orientations received from the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

The authorOmnes

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