Vatican City, 01 June 2013: The Mission intention of Pope for the month of
June: that where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively
promote a new evangelization.
Making my own the concerns of my venerable Predecessors, I consider it opportune to offer appropriate responses so that the entire Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, may present herself to the contemporary world with a missionary impulse in order to promote the new evangelization, wrote Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Above all, he continued, this pertains to Churches of ancient origin, which live in different situations and have different needs, and therefore require different types of motivation for evangelization.
This variety of situations demands careful discernment; to speak of a “new evangelization” does not in fact mean that a single formula should be developed that would hold the same for all circumstances. And yet it is not difficult to see that what all the Churches living in traditionally Christian territories need is a renewed missionary impulse, an expression of a new, generous openness to the gift of grace. Indeed we cannot forget that the first task will always be to make ourselves docile to the freely given action of the Spirit of the Risen One who accompanies all who are heralds of the Gospel and opens the hearts of those who listen. To proclaim fruitfully the Word of the Gospel one is first asked to have a profound experience of God.
How, in our present cultural and ecclesiastical context, can we respond to the challenge of the new evangelisation? As the Lineamenta of Synod of Bishops on ‘the New Evangelisation’ in 2012 said: ‘the evangelisation process becomes a discernment process; the proclamation requires first of all a moment of listening, of understanding, of interpreting’ the profound historical and cultural changes that we are living. In this context, the ‘new evangelisation’ is ‘a commitment not to re-evangelise’ ‘but to a new evangelisation’. New in its enthusiasm, in its methods, in the way it is expressed. The new evangelisation is not a new version of the first, a simple repetition, but it is the courage to dare new ways, in the face of the new conditions at the heart of which the Church is called to live today the proclamation of the gospel’. It begins in our heart.
The point of the ‘new evangelisation’ is thus ‘to rekindle the spark of faith in Jesus Christ, a spark which becomes a fire and awakes the desire to share the Good News. Faith is born of meeting the Risen Christ at the heart of our lives, in recognising his presence by the burning in our hearts. ‘The new evangelisation is above all a spiritual action, the capacity to make our own, in the present, the courage and the force of the first Christians.’
Where the influence of secularisation is strongest, the ‘new evangelisation’ ought to open the ways of hope.
source: VR Sedoc