Pope: The 'dimensions' of evangelization are proclamation, service and gratuity

The Holy Spirit is the "protagonist" of proclamation, which is not just a simple "preaching" or the "transmission" of some ideas, but is a dynamic movement capable of "changing hearts" thanks to the work of the Spirit. "It's bad when you find evangelizers who are served and live to be served".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Holy Spirit is the "protagonist" of proclamation, the first "dimension" of evangelization, which also includes service - which denies any careerism - and gratuitousness. Evangelization was the topic at the center of the homily at Mass celebrated this morning by Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the readings of the day.

Pope Francis said the readings demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is the “protagonist” of the Gospel proclamation. That proclamation is unlike other types of communication. Due to the action of the Holy Spirit, it has the power “to change hearts”. There have been pastoral plans that seem to be perfect, Pope Francis said. “They were incapable of changing hearts” because they were ends in themselves. “They were not instruments of evangelization”, the Pope said.

“It is not with an entrepreneurial attitude that Jesus sends us…. No, it is with the Holy Spirit. This is courage. The true courage behind evangelization is not human stubbornness. No, it is the Spirit who gives us courage and who carries you forward”.

Pope Francis sees service as the second dimension of evangelization. In fact, he said that pursuing a career or success "in the Church is a sure sign that someone doesn’t know what evangelization is…for the one who commands must be the one who serves”. The Pope continued: “We can say good things but without service it is not proclamation. It may seem to be, but it is not, because the Spirit not only carries you forward to proclaim the truths of the Lord and the life of the Lord, but He also brings you to the service of the brothers and sisters, even in small things. It’s awful when you find evangelizers who make others serve them and who live to be served. They are like the princes of evangelization – how awful”.

Pope Francis presented gratuitousness as the third aspect of evangelization because no one can be redeemed by his or her own merit. The Lord reminds us, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” (Matthew 10:8).

“All of us have been saved gratuitously by Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must give gratuitously. Those who carry out the pastoral work of evangelization must learn this. Their life must be gratuitous, given in service, proclamation, borne by the Spirit. Their personal poverty forces them to open themselves up to the Spirit”.