If you thought Pope Francis was long in Chapter Two (50-109) of Evangelii Gaudium, buckle your seat belts for Chapter Three (110-175). It’s slightly longer, but not quite the longest of this document. Over the next several weeks we’ll look at “The Proclamation of the Gospel” with the Holy Father.
The four themes presented here include a long elaboration of the principle that every believer evangelizes (111-134), the homily (135-144) and its preparation (145-159), plus some considerations of the Church’s preaching, aka kerygma (160-175).
Nothing greatly deep or controversial today, just the opening of the idea of proclaiming the Good News. It needs Jesus:
110. After having considered some of the challenges of the present, I would now like to speak of the task which bears upon us in every age and place, for “there can be no true evangelization without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord”, and without “the primacy of the proclamation of Jesus Christ in all evangelizing work”.[JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia (6 November 1999), 19] Acknowledging the concerns of the Asian bishops, John Paul II told them that if the Church “is to fulfil its providential destiny, evangelization as the joyful, patient and progressive preaching of the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ must be your absolute priority.”[JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia (6 November 1999), 2] These words hold true for all of us.
Much bile is expended on the “beyond Jesus” critics of institutional Christianity. My sense is that such bile is better kept inside and a gaze cast to check if Jesus Christ is more a part of our public discourse within the Body.