Querida Amazonia 64-65: On Message With The Kerygma

In his post-synodal exhortation Pope Francis asks if we are on message. Speaking about the “poor and the abandoned,” he states …

They have a right to hear the Gospel, and above all that first proclamation, the kerygma, which is “the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another”.[Evangelii Gaudium 164]

“One way or another” could be interpreted as annoying proselytizing, but I suspect that the Holy Father is suggesting various creative, polite, persistent, and non-creepy ways. What exactly is that “principal proclamation” anyway? Creed? Sexual ethics? Not quite:

It proclaims a God who infinitely loves every man and woman and has revealed this love fully in Jesus Christ, crucified for us and risen in our lives. I would ask that you re-read the brief summary of this “great message” found in Chapter Four of the Exhortation Christus Vivit. That message, expressed in a variety of ways, must constantly resound in the Amazon region. Without that impassioned proclamation, every ecclesial structure would become just another NGO and we would not follow the command given us by Christ: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). (QA 64)

Modern-day disciples zero in on the Mandatum in Matthew 28:19-20. They do so rightly, as this is far better than any concocted vision/mission statement a committee can fabricate. I think it was the Rebuilt guys who said the mission statement of every parish is (or should be) those two post-Resurrection verses. Maybe Mark’s version about preaching to “the whole creation” sounds a bit wild even for today’s evangelists.

Some citations from the Joy of the Gospel:

65. Any project for growth in the Christian life needs to be centered continually on this message, for “all Christian formation consists of entering more deeply into the kerygma”.[Ibid. 165] The fundamental response to this message, when it leads to a personal encounter with the Lord, is fraternal charity, “the new commandment, the first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples”.[Ibid. 161]

If you’re going to quote Pope Francis on Querida Amazonia, this is the most important citation I’ve seen thus far:

Indeed, the kerygma and fraternal charity constitute the great synthesis of the whole content of the Gospel, to be proclaimed unceasingly in the Amazon region.

A professor-turned-archbishop and a Jesuit exemplify:

That is what shaped the lives of the great evangelizers of Latin America, like Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo or Saint Joseph of Anchieta.

The hyperlinks are mine; not in the papal document. The question, naturally, is why these names are not doctors of the Church in Latin America along with figures such as Rose of Lima. Other comments?

This document is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

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