EG 34: From The Heart of the Gospel

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdaleneEvangelii Gaudium‘s first chapter has five subheadings. The third, “From The Heart Of The Gospel,” covers sections 34-39, and will get the blogging treatment in the week to come. That treatment will cover the topics of how to communicate and bringing a balance to it all.

34. If we attempt to put all things in a missionary key, this will also affect the way we communicate the message. In today’s world of instant communication and occasionally biased media coverage, the message we preach runs a greater risk of being distorted or reduced to some of its secondary aspects. In this way certain issues which are part of the Church’s moral teaching are taken out of the context which gives them their meaning.

Some would object to “occasionally biased,” but I think this is accurate. Media coverage is more often uninformed than biased. Church people who communicate out to the wide world can assist the preaching of the message by attending to an accurate diagnosis. When “bias” is misdiagnosed, the medicine often comes out as “shrill.” In this situation, primary aspects are missed, and the audience doesn’t hear what it wants or waits to hear:

The biggest problem is when the message we preach then seems identified with those secondary aspects which, important as they are, do not in and of themselves convey the heart of Christ’s message. We need to be realistic and not assume that our audience understands the full background to what we are saying, or is capable of relating what we say to the very heart of the Gospel which gives it meaning, beauty and attractiveness.

Others have preached the beauty of the Gospel. But beauty is not just to be found in disparate elements, no matter how much churchpeople see and know the connections. Part of beauty is expressed in assembly and arrangement. Sometimes presentation is everything.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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