Pope Francis calls on some New Testament references to bolster his case in Evangelii Gaudium for better and more evangelical preaching.
136. Let us renew our confidence in preaching, based on the conviction that it is God who seeks to reach out to others through the preacher, and that he displays his power through human words. Saint Paul speaks forcefully about the need to preach, since the Lord desires to reach other people by means of our word (cf. Rom 10:14-17).
The Gospel of Mark gives the marks of the Lord’s preaching: Jesus spoke to hearts, people came from all over, amazement, authority, he enabled others to preach, and the universality of message and method:
By his words our Lord won over the hearts of the people; they came to hear him from all parts (cf. Mk 1:45); they were amazed at his teachings (cf. Mk 6:2), and they sensed that he spoke to them as one with authority (cf. Mk 1:27). By their words the apostles, whom Christ established “to be with him and to be sent out to preach” (Mk 3:14), brought all nations to the bosom of the Church (cf. Mk 16:15.20).
Can the Church’s preaching be measured by these standards? And if preachers demur, have they revealed they don’t quite possess the Lord’s optimism, or possibly his other qualities as the evangelist Mark lists?