Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis

  • Introduction

    • "The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience." (2)

    • "whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms...God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy." (3)

    • "We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being." (8)

    • "For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?" (8)

    • "the new evangelization is a summons addressed to all and that it is carried out in three principal settings" (14)



      • ordinary pastoral ministry


      • the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism


      • those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him


      • "Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone." (15)


      • "today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church" (15)



    • Decentralization: "I am conscious of the need to promote a sound “decentralization”." (16)

    • Topics he discusses in more detail:



      • a) the reform of the Church in her missionary outreach;



    • b) the temptations faced by pastoral workers;c) the Church, understood as the entire People of God which evangelizes;d) the homily and its preparation;e) the inclusion of the poor in society; f) peace and dialogue within society;g) the spiritual motivations for mission.

  • I - THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY TRANSFORMATION

    • A CHURCH WHICH GOES FORTH



      • "All of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel." (20)


      • "God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29). The Church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word, which accomplishes what it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking." (22)


      • "The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded." (23)



    • PASTORAL ACTIVITY AND CONVERSION



      • "“Mere administration” can no longer be enough.21 Throughout the world, let us be “permanently in a state of mission”." (25)


      • The Church must constantly be self-aware and looking inward for renewal (26)


      • "Wherever the need for the light and the life of the Risen Christ is greatest, [the Church] will want to be there." (30)


      • Leadership of a Bishop: sometimes going before his people, sometimes walking among them, sometimes walking after them to help those who lag (31)


      • we need to be creative and not use the excuse "it's always been done this way" - makes me think about SpaceX's philosophy toward designing rockets (33)



    • FROM THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL



      • on the centrality of the Gospel: "The biggest problem is when the message we preach then seems identified with those secondary aspects which, important as they are, do not in and of themselves convey the heart of Christ’s message. We need to be realistic and not assume that our audience understands the full background to what we are saying, or is capable of relating what we say to the very heart of the Gospel which gives it meaning, beauty and attractiveness." (34)


      • "“in Catholic doctrine there exists an order or a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith”" (36)


      • From St. Thomas Aquinas: "mercy is the greatest virtue" (37)


      • on the unity of truth: "each truth is better understood when related to the harmonious totality of the Christian message; in this context all of the truths are important and illumine one another" (39)


      • purpose of the Gospel: "Before all else, the Gospel in- vites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others." (39)



    • A MISSION EMBODIED WITHIN HUMAN LIMITS



      • "But in fact such variety [in thought, philosophy, practice, etc.] serves to bring out and develop different facets of the inexhaustible riches of the Gospel." (40)


      • truths are unchanging, but we need to learn how to present them in a new way: "At the same time, today’s vast and rapid cultural changes demand that we constantly seek ways of expressing unchanging truths in a lan- guage which brings out their abiding newness." (40)


      • we don't want the Church to become rule (Law) dominated: "SaintThomas Aquinas pointed out that the pre- cepts which Christ and the apostles gave to the people of God “are very few”" (43)



    • A MOTHER WITH AN OPEN HEART



      • "The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak." (47)


      • we need to preach to the poor first: "We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor." (48)


      • a bruised Church: "I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security." (49)



  • II - AMID THE CRISIS OF COMMUNAL COMMITMENT

    • SOME CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD



      • our world is characterized by many barely getting by; and increasing reliance on technology


      • "We have created a “throw away” culture" (53)


      • denounces traditional trickle-down economics (54)


      • it is OUR CALL to help the poor: "Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own." (54)


      • financial markets are our new idols (55)


      • "Money must serve, not rule!" (58)


      • "But until exclusion and inequal- ity in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence." (59)


      • relativism: "We should recognize how in a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions." (61)


      • secularization (64)


      • on marriage: "the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momen- tary needs of the couple" (66)


      • we need a culture of faith (68)



    • TEMPTATIONS FACED BY PASTORAL WORKERS



      • dangers that pastoral workers face (78):





        • heightened individualism



        • crisis of identity



        • cooling of fervor





      • we must not resist fully giving ourselves over to God (81)


      • we must be of service: "To go out of ourselves and to join others is healthy for us. To be self-enclosed is to taste the bitter poi- son of immanence, and humanity will be worse for every selfish choice we make." (87)


      • we can't hide in our group of friends (88)


      • we must find Christ in others (98)


      • relativism vs. orthodoxy (94)


      • women in the Church: "But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church." (103)


      • challenges: "Challenges exist to be overcome!" (109)



  • III - THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL

    • THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL



      • Jesus Christ is the foundation of evangelization (110)


      • salvation is a gift: "The salvation which God offers us is the work of his mercy. No human efforts, however good they may be, can enable us to merit so great a gift." (112)


      • the Church must be open: "The Church must be a place of mercy freely giv- en, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel." (114)


      • the diversity of the Church is its Catholicity (116); and diversity is not a threat to unity (117)


      • therefore, we do not need to impose our western "form" on new cultures (117)


      • humility recognizes that we need to be evangelized also, but this can't stop us from evangelizing always (121)


      • "Being human means “being at the same time son and father of the culture to which one belongs”." (122)


      • how to evangelize: all of 128, especially: "This message has to be shared humbly as a testimony on the part of one who is always willing to learn, in the awareness that the message is so rich and so deep that it always exceeds our grasp." (128)


      • authenticity of charism: "A sure sign of the authenticity of a charism is its ecclesial charac- ter, its ability to be integrated harmoniously into the life of God’s holy and faithful people for the good of all." (130)


      • we need a "creative apologetics" for science, etc: "Proclaiming the Gospel message to differ- ent cultures also involves proclaiming it to pro- fessional, scientific and academic circles. This means an encounter between faith, reason and the sciences with a view to developing new ap- proaches and arguments on the issue of credibil- ity, a creative apologetics" (132)


      • a new theology: "A theology – and not simply a pastoral theology – which is in dialogue with other sciences and human experiences is most important for our discernment on how best to bring the Gospel message to different cultural contexts and groups." (133)





        • *Should this theology come from theologians or scientists/engineers?






    • THE HOMILY



      • "The homily is the touchstone for judging a pastor’s closeness and ability to communicate to his people." (135)


      • a love of words: "Dialogue is much more than the com- munication of a truth. It arises from the en- joyment of speaking and it enriches those who express their love for one another through the medium of words." (142)


      • synthesis: "Where your synthesis is, there lies your heart." (143)



    • PREPARING TO PREACH



      • we must let the Word permeate our lives: "He needs to approach the word with a docile and prayerful heart so that it may deeply penetrate his thoughts and feelings and bring about a new outlook in him”." (149)


      • don't respond to questions that nobody asks (155)



    • EVANGELIZATION AND THE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE KERYGMA



      • truth, goodness, and beauty: "Every expression of true beauty can thus be ac- knowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus. This has nothing to do with fostering an aesthetic relativism which would downplay the inseparable bond between truth, goodness and beauty, but rather a renewed esteem for beauty as a means of touching the human heart and enabling the truth and goodness of the Risen Christ to radiate within it." (167)


      • accompaniment (169)


      • we need to listen (171)


      • Scripture is the basis of evangelization, so we must be continually instructed in Scripture (171)


      • and Scripture must be available to every believer (172)



  • IV - THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF EVANGELIZATION

    • COMMUNAL AND SOCIETAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KERYGMA



      • definition of evangelization: "To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world." (176)


      • must accept the guidance of the creativity of the Holy Spirit (end of 178)


      • religion can't be private: "It is no longer possible to claim that religion should be restricted to the private sphere and that it exists only to prepare souls for heaven. We know that God wants his children to be happy in this world too, even though they are called to fulfilment in eternity, for he has created all things “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17)" (182)


      • authentic faith: "An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better that we found it." (183)


      • the Pope doesn't have a monopoly on solutions to social problems (184)


      • the two biggest problems: "In what follows I intend to concentrate on two great issues which strike me as fundamental at this time in history...I believe that they will shape the future of humanity. These issues are first, the inclusion of the poor in society, and second, peace and social dialogue." (185)



    • THE INCLUSION OF THE POOR IN SOCIETY



      • solidarity affects our relationship with God: "A lack of solidarity towards his or her needs will directly affect our relationship with God" (187)


      • our work: "In this context we can understand Jesus’ com- mand to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter." (188)


      • private property and justice: "The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them." (189)


      • the rich: "“the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others”" (190)


      • a poor Church: "This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficul- ties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them." (198)


      • "True love is always contemplative." (199)


      • the preferential option for the poor includes religious care of the Church (200)


      • need to reject autonomy of financial markets, and "Inequality is the root of all social ills" (202)


      • Business as a Vocation: "Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all." (203)


      • economic discussion (204)


      • politics is a noble vocation as long as it seeks the common good (205)


      • we need a more efficient way of interacting for a healthy economy (206)


      • "Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means to resolving other problems." (213)



    • THE COMMON GOOD AND PEACE IN SOCIETY



      • need integral development for peace: "In the end, a peace which is not the re- sult of integral development will be doomed; it will always spawn new conflicts and various forms of violence." (219)


      • we must participate in politics (220)


      • Tensions





        • between fullness and limitation (222)







          • time is greater than space (222)




          • work slowly and don't obsess over results (223)




          • conflict must be faced (226)







        • between ideas and realities (231)







          • "There has to be continuous dialogue between the two, lest ideas become detached from realities. It is dangerous to dwell in the realm of words alone, of imag- es and rhetoric...realities are greater than ideas." (231)







        • between globalization and localization (234)







          • "The whole is greater than the part, but it is also greater than the sum of its parts." (235)










    • SOCIAL DIALOGUE AS A CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE



      • faith and reason: "Faith is not fearful of reason; on the contrary, it seeks and trusts reason, since 'the light of reason and the light of faith both come from God' and cannot contradict each other." (242, citing Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, I, 7; cf. John Paul II Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, (14 September 1998), 43: AAS 91 (1999), 39.


      • about science (243)


      • ecumenism: "The credibility of the Christian message would be much greater if Christians could overcome their divisions and the Church could realize “the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her children who, though joined to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her”. We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying alongside one another. This means that we must have sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion or mistrust, and turn our gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God’s face. (244)


      • see the gifts of the Holy Spirit in others (246)


      • balancing openness vs. steadfastness in belief: "True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”." (251)



  • V - SPIRIT-FILLED EVANGELIZERS

    • REASONS FOR A RENEWED MISSIONARY IMPULSE



      • importance of prayer: "Let us call upon him today, firmly rooted in prayer, for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our message empty." (259)


      • sharing God's love: "What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts." (264)


      • "Appearances notwithstanding, every person is immensely holy and deserves our love." (274)


      • we need to invoke the Spirit constantly (280)



    • MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION



      • "Jesus left us his mother to be our mother." (285)



  • OTHER NOTES

    • Recurring Themes:



      • The poor (frequently, starting at 186)


      • No one can be excluded (15, 23)


      • Conversion of the papacy (16, 33, end of 38, 184)


      • We are all called (20, 55, 81, 120, 188, 216)


      • Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (167)


      • Accompaniment (starting at 169)


      • Our culture of waste (191)


      • A poor Church (49, 198)


      • We can't have an unregulated economy (54, 204)


      • Big picture thinking


      • On science/technology (132, 133, 243)


      • The need for the Holy Spirit