In today’s post on Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis begins a conversation on “The Social Dimension of Evangelization” with the beginning of Chapter Four. This will be the longest chapter of the document.
176. To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world. Yet “any partial or fragmentary definition which attempts to render the reality of evangelization in all its richness, complexity and dynamism does so only at the risk of impoverishing it and even of distorting it”.[Evangelii Nuntiandi 17] I would now like to share my concerns about the social dimension of evangelization, precisely because if this dimension is not properly brought out, there is a constant risk of distorting the authentic and integral meaning of the mission of evangelization.
Our first topic is the “Communal and Societal Repercussions of the Kerygma.” The kerygma, you’ll remember, is the term for the broad proclamation of the Gospel.
177. The kerygma has a clear social content: at the very heart of the Gospel is life in community and engagement with others. The content of the first proclamation has an immediate moral implication centred on charity.
We’ll take about a week with this first theme. Then move to three successive ideas presented in this chapter: the poor (EG 186-216), peace and the common good (217-237), and social dialogue as a contribution to peace (238-258). All of this should take us well into summer.