EG 12: God’s Agency in Evangelization

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdaleneMore strains of Ignatian spirituality here. Pope Francis mentions personal generosity:

12. Though it is true that this mission demands great generosity on our part, it would be wrong to see it as a heroic individual undertaking, for it is first and foremost the Lord’s work, surpassing anything which we can see and understand. Jesus is “the first and greatest evangelizer”.[Evangelii Nuntiandi 7]

God’s grace is always the first impetus. Our cooperation may well be heroic on occasion, but we do well to recall the heroism is not ours alone. Part of a disciple’s generosity involves not thinking so highly of our own contribution, but giving proper credit to God.

In every activity of evangelization, the primacy always belongs to God, who has called us to cooperate with him and who leads us on by the power of his Spirit. The real newness is the newness which God himself mysteriously brings about and inspires, provokes, guides and accompanies in a thousand ways. The life of the Church should always reveal clearly that God takes the initiative, that “he has loved us first” (1 Jn 4:19) and that he alone “gives the growth” (1 Cor 3:7). This conviction enables us to maintain a spirit of joy in the midst of a task so demanding and challenging that it engages our entire life. God asks everything of us, yet at the same time he offers everything to us.

We read of new things in section 11. God will indeed find new ways to reach us, even break through to us. Are we ready to accept that divine initiative? Pope Francis reminds those who may be faint of heart–or skeptics–that divine generosity will not be overshadowed by our perceived sacrifices.

Read Evangelii Gaudium here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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