Monday, October 1, 2012

The New Evangelization

It was during his first pastoral trip to Poland that the Blessed John Paul II spoke and exhorted from Nowa Huta concerning the need for a “new evangelization,” thus coining the term with which the venerated Pope sought to provide impulse to the permanent task and challenge for the Church in the world. This renewed challenge to accomplish the missionary task of the church with the eternal content of the Gospel, which is Jesus Christ himself, should become, according to the Pope - “new” in passion, “new” in methods and “new” as well in its expression, in order that Christ and his gospel might impregnate, not merely apply a varnish to the temporal realities, but that Christ and his criteria, principles and the values of the gospel might work their way into the depth of the heart of every person, renewing the life of all people, including the relationships between all men and Christ, so as to become the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth”. An evangelization that reaches all peoples and impregnates with evangelical values the cultures in all corners of the globe.

The challenge of this “new evangelization” requires the vital and dynamic testimony of every Christian and of the Christian communities with the certainty that the mystery and the ministry of Christ will enlighten and clarify the life of individuals and peoples (GS 22), that in the person of Christ and his gospel they might find a response to the great questions of humanity and the deepest desires of all peoples and of their ever changing history. All of which presupposes that in the life of the church and in the task of evangelism in the world, we might give to Sacred Scripture the centrality it deserves as the source of all that has been revealed in the Word of God, which is Christ himself: the norm of our existence and responsibility as disciples.

In this way, the “new evangelization” and the “Word of God” imply and require that evangelism based on Sacred Scripture will always result in renewal, always fresh, always vital while the “Word of God” makes effective the task of the “new evangelization” today.

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