Evangelii Nuntiandi 14: Ultimate Goal, and Grace

In theory, the institution is aware of the importance of evangelization, and that it is a Body-wide quality:

14. The Church knows this. She has a vivid awareness of the fact that the Savior’s words, “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God,”[Lk 4:43] apply in all truth to herself: She willingly adds with St. Paul: “Not that I boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty that has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it”[1 Cor 9:16] It is with joy and consolation that at the end of the great Assembly of 1974 we heard these illuminating words: “We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church.”[“Declaration of the Synod Fathers”, 4: L’Osservatore Romano (27 October 1974), p. 6] It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.

It should not be a surprise that the ultimate Christian goal is to present the Gospel to every person in every corner of the world. Each individual is free, of course, to embrace Christ or to move on. Keeping that focus in mind, we also acknowledge that the grace of God with which the Church is entrusted. It does not depend on our perfect action in that regard.

Note that the entire Paschal Mystery, not just Calvary, is involved in the sacrifice of Christ, and something again, in which we participate.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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