Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Evangelization and Deeper Understanding of the Kerygma

Pope Francis writes, “The fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts of Church renewal. The kerygma is trinitarian. The fire of the Spirit us given in the forms of tongues and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ who, by his death and resurrection, reveals and communicates to us the the Father’s infinite mercy. On the lips of catechists the first proclamation must ring out over and over: ‘Jesus Christ love you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten you, strengthen and free you.’ This first proclamation is called ‘first’ not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things. It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must announce one way or another through out  the process of catechesis, at every level and moment.”

We must fall in love again with the person of Jesus. We must experience him anew each and every day. Do you remember how excited you were when you first meet Jesus? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to us today. We are living at a time of a great out pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Cardinal Ratzinger says we are living in a ‘Pentecostal hour.’ He writes in his book, ‘The Ratzinger Report’, “What sounds full of hope throughout the universal Church-and this even even in the midst of the crisis that the Church is going through in the western world-is the upsurge of new movements that no one has planned and no one called into  being, but that simply emerge of their own accord from the inner vitality of the faith. What is apparent in them-albeit very faintly-is something very similar to a pentecostal hour in Church. I am thinking for instance of the Charismatic Renewal, The Neocatechumentals, the Cursillo movement, the Focolarini, Communion and Liberation, and so on. All these movements undoubtedly raise many problems, but this is invariably the case in everything that is truly alive…what is emerging here is a new generation of the Church which I am watching with great hope. I find it marvelous that the Spirit us once more stronger than our programs and bring into play in an altogether way than we had imagined…It grows in silence. Our task- the task of the office-holders in the Church and of theologians-is to keep the door open ti them, to prepare room for them… The period following the Council scarcely seemed to live up to the hopes of John XXIII, who looked for a ‘new Pentecost.’ But his prayer did not go unheard. In the heart of a world dessicated by rationalistic scepticism a new experience of the Holy Spirit has come about, amounting to a worldwide renewal movement. What the New Testament describes, with reference to the charisms, as visible signs of the coming of the Spirit is no longer merely ancient, past history: this history is becoming a burning reality today.”

Let us hear the words of Peter’s first homily as if we were there 2000 years ago hearing them for the first time. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourself know- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be help by it….Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified”(Act 1: 22-24, 35-36)

“When they heard this they were cut to the heart.” (Act 1;37) May the Holy Spirit cut us to the heart. No one can say Jesus is Lord expect by the Holy Spirit.



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