The Pope & the Pastor
“14. Attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who helps us together to read the signs of the times, the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops gathered from 7-28 October 2012 to discuss the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The Synod reaffirmed that the new evangelization is a summons addressed to all and that it is carried out in three principal settings.” –Pope Francis, Gaudium Evangelii
In one sentence (the first one above) Pope Francis gives us some important instructions as we bring forth the Gospel to our age.
The first movement in evangelization is not ours but is from the Holy Spirit. Our action is a response to the action of God. If not, we are failing to proclaim the greatest message of Christianity. When we speak to others about Christ and the Catholic Church, it is not just a commentary on what we like about our faith. It is also not a commentary on what the news media have to say about the Church. When we speak about the Good News it is a response to the Holy Spirit in us. I encourage all of us to grow in our awareness of these promptings.
Additionally we are reminded to read the signs of the times “together.” The Church assists us in knowing and understanding both the problems of this age and the solutions to our human needs. We partake of this by being a community of people who share a life together in union with our Bishop and with the Pope. This gift is a sign of unity to us, when we are uncertain about our own abilities, talents or our ways. Catholicism is a corporate reality and we can rely upon others as they rely upon us.
However, this reliance on other people requires humility. It is not easy to admit a need for assistance from others. Our age of self sufficiency is in complete contrast to the Spirit of God who reminds us that our need for other people is merely a small indication of our total dependence upon the grace of God. When we live more open to this dependence, we discover how close Christ really is to us. The awareness of the indwelling love of God, who wants to assist us and help us and love us, gives us the strength and desire to bring the Joy of the Gospel to many people.