Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, looks at the third topic (EG 275-280) within his fifth and final chapter on Spirit-filled evangelizers, “The mysterious working of the risen Christ and his Spirit.” He strongly condemns the pessimism of our age as a denial of the Risen Christ. Does he overstate?
275. In the second chapter, we reflected on that lack of deep spirituality which turns into pessimism, fatalism, and mistrust. Some people do not commit themselves to mission because they think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make the effort. They think: “Why should I deny myself my comforts and pleasures if I won’t see any significant result?” This attitude makes it impossible to be a missionary. It is only a malicious excuse for remaining caught up in comfort, laziness, vague dissatisfaction and empty selfishness. It is a self-destructive attitude, for “(people) cannot live without hope: life would become meaningless and unbearable”.[Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops, Final Message, 1: L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly English-language edition, 27 October 1999, 5.] If we think that things are not going to change, we need to recall that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death and is now almighty. Jesus Christ truly lives. Put another way, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14). The Gospel tells us that when the first disciples went forth to preach, “the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message” (Mk 16:20). The same thing happens today. We are invited to discover this, to experience it. Christ, risen and glorified, is the wellspring of our hope, and he will not deprive us of the help we need to carry out the mission which he has entrusted to us.
Ask Christ for the help needed, including the inner verve to tackle the Christian mission. Can it be that easy?