11/30/2019, 16.18
VATICAN
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Pope: evangelisers are like guardian angels, messengers of goodness

“The joy of the Gospel springs from the encounter with Jesus,” Francis said. “It is when we meet the Lord that we are inundated by that love of which he alone is capable. [. . .] Because, at that point, the need to proclaim it arises spontaneously and becomes irrepressible. This is how evangelisation began, on Easter morning, with a woman, Mary Magdalene who, after meeting the Risen Jesus, the Living One, evangelised the Apostles.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis this morning received participants of the international meeting The Church goes forth. Evangelii Gaudium: Reception and perspectives, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.

In his address, the pontiff said that those who proclaim the Gospel “are like guardian angels, messengers of goodness who do not give ready-made answers, but share the questions of life, as Jesus did when spoke to Mary calling her by name,” asking her “‘Whom are you looking for?’(Jn 20:15). Whom are you looking for, not what are you looking for, because things are not enough for living; to live we need the God of love.”

“The joy of the Gospel springs from the encounter with Jesus,” Francis said. “It is when we meet the Lord that we are inundated by that love of which he alone is capable. [. . .] Because, at that point, the need to proclaim it arises spontaneously and becomes irrepressible. This is how evangelisation began, on Easter morning, with a woman, Mary Magdalene who, after meeting the Risen Jesus, the Living One, evangelised the Apostles.”

“The experience of so many people nowadays is not that far from that of Mary Magdalene. Longing for God, for an infinite and true love, is rooted in the heart of every human being. It takes someone to help revive it. Angels are needed, who, like with Mary Magdalene, can bring good proclamations: angels in flesh and blood who come together to wipe away tears, and say in the name of Jesus: 'Do not be afraid!' (Mt 28:5)’ and ask again his question ‘Whom are you looking for?’ ‘Whom are you looking, not what are you looking for, because things are not enough for living; to live we need the God of love.

“If we, with this love of his, knew how to look into the hearts of people who – because of the indifference we breathe and the consumerism that dulls us – often pass us by amid our disinterest, then we would be able to see first the need for this Whom, the search for ever-lasting love, the questions about the meaning of life, pain, betrayal, solitude.”

“Faced with such concerns, prescriptions and precepts are not enough; we need to walk together, become travel companions. Indeed, those who evangelise can never forget that they are always on the move, seeking together with others. Hence, they cannot leave anyone behind, cannot afford to keep at a distance those who limp, cannot shut themselves off within their group of comfortable relationships. Those who proclaim do not seek to flee the world, because their Lord loved the world so much that he gave himself, not to condemn the world but to save it (Jn 3:16-17). Those who proclaim seize God’s wish, which is a source of longing for those who are afar. They know no enemies, only travelling companions. They do not set themselves up as teachers, for they know that the quest for God is common to all and must be shared, that Jesus’s closeness must never be denied to anyone.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, do not hold back for fear of making mistakes or the fear of following new paths. No priorities come before the proclamation of the resurrection, the kerygma of hope. Our poverty is not an obstacle, but a precious tool, for the grace of God loves to manifest itself in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). We need to confirm an inner certainty in the ‘conviction that God is able to act in every situation, even amid apparent setbacks’ (ibid., 279).

“We really have to believe that God is love and that therefore no work carried out with love, no sincere concern for others, no act of love for God, no generous effort, no painful patience must be lost (see ibid.). We have to spread the message, be simple and agile like in the Easter Gospels: like Mary, who can't wait to tell the disciples ‘I have seen the Lord’ (Jn 20:18); like the Apostles who run to the tomb (Jn 20:4); like Peter, who dives from the boat towards Jesus (Jn 21:8). We need a free and simple Church, which does not think about its positive image, conveniences and takings, but about going forth.”

“Let us not be saddened by things that do not work, by tiredness, by misunderstandings: they are little things compared to ‘the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’ (Phil 3:8). Let us not be infected by the defeatism according to which everything goes wrong: this is not what God thinks.

“To avoid letting ourselves be robbed of the Gospel’s enthusiasm, let us invoke the Author, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of joy who keeps the missionary ardour alive, every day that makes life a love story with God, who invites us to attract the world only with love, and discover that we can possess life only by giving it.”

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