15th Sunday in Ordinay Time - Year B - 12th July 2015

New Evangelisation

Pope Francis challenges us to play our part in this work of New Evangelisation.

The term ‘evangelisation’, comes from Greek and means, ‘to announce Good News’ .

Conscious of the secularisation of so many Christian countries like our own, where people have been baptized but never grew in their faith; or who have drifted from the practice of their faith; and who are no longer in a real, living relationship with Christ, St John Paul coined the phrase New Evangelisation.

In Novo Millennio Ineunte St John Paul wrote: “It is not a matter of inventing a “new programme”. The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem.

This is our programme for the Third Millennium. But it must be translated into pastoral initiatives adapted to the circumstances.”

Pope Francis is now challenging us to play our part in this work of New Evangelisation (Evangelii Gaudium)

An evangelising community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast.

The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever-greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our heart.

The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.

The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, for charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers”. (Evangelii Gaudium)

Fr Kevin O'Shea C.M.