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The Nature of the New Evangelization

In the synodal discussions there emerged very clearly the understanding that the foundation of the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith is above all the work of the most Holy Trinity in history. God the Father sends his Son who brings with himself the authentic Good News of who we are in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church is involved in this movement of Divine Self-revelation which begins with the Blessed Virgin Mary under the action of the Holy Spirit receiving in her womb the Word of God who became flesh in her to be able to be given to the whole world. It is the Word made flesh who offers his words of everlasting life to those who place their faith in him. After his death and Resurrection, Jesus sent the Church, his Spouse and new Body, into the world to continue his evangelizing mission.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28, 19-20).

Jesus has freed us from the power of sin and saved us from death. The Church receives from her Lord not only the tremendous grace he has won for her, but also the commission to share and make known his victory. We are summoned to transmit faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The Church’s primary mission is evangelization.

In his Paus Benedictus XVI - Toespraak
‘God heeft gesproken. Maar hoe komt de mens dat te weten?’
Bij de eerste sessie van de plenaire vergadering van de Synode - In de synode-aula
(8 oktober 2012)
, our Holy Father reminded us that the Church has taken the word “evangelium” and interpreted it in a new and life-giving manner so that our proclamation of it is a share in the prophetic ministry of the apostles – of the Church.

In the same reflection, our Holy Father underlined the primacy of God in evangelization. It is God who speaks and acts in history. We, by means of the fire of the Holy Spirit, are called to work humbly with God through our profession of faith and love through which the Word of God passes through us to touch others.

The Church never tires of announcing the gift she has received from the Lord. The Second Vatican Council has reminded us that evangelization is at the very heart of the Church. In 2e Vaticaans Concilie - Constitutie
Lumen Gentium
Over de Kerk
(21 november 1964)
, the fundamental text and nucleus of the Council’s reflection on the life of the Church, the Council fathers emphasized “the Church has received this solemn mandate of Christ to proclaim the saving truth from the apostles and to carry it out to the very ends of the earth” 2e Vaticaans Concilie, Constitutie, Over de Kerk, Lumen Gentium (21 nov 1964), 17.

The duty to announce the saving truth is not just the responsibility of clergy and religious. On the contrary, this synod highlighted the important role of every disciple of Christ in the mission of spreading the faith. The discussion accentuated the crucial and vital participation of every Catholic, especially through the eager dedication and gifts of the lay faithful to the mission of evangelization.

Question 1. Through baptism, all Christians are given a personal calling which gives them the dignity of being evangelizers. How can the Church foster greater consciousness among all the baptized of their missionary and evangelizing responsibility?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13, 8) and as such, he makes “all things new” (Openb. 21, 5). This Good News involves the many moments of evangelization. One is the mission ad gentes, that is, the announcement of the Gospel to those who have never heard of Jesus Christ. Another moment in evangelization is the ongoing catechesis and growth in the faith that is a normal part of Christian development. Then there is also the New Evangelization which involves the pastoral outreach to those who have heard of Christ and began once to practice the faith but for one reason or another discontinued.

Question 2. One urgent activity, usually part of parish life, involves the initial proclamation of the faith and its gradual development. How can the Christian community become more aware of the importance of this catechetical and educational activity?

Document

Naam: RELATIO POST DISCEPTATIONEM
Tijdens de opening van de 13e Bisschoppensynode "Over de nieuwe evangelisatie" - Synodeaula
Soort: Bisschoppensynodes
Auteur: Donald William Kardinaal Wuerl
Datum: 17 oktober 2012
Copyrights: © 2012, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie; alineaverdeling en -nummering: redactie
Bewerkt: 7 november 2019

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