“The New Evangelization is this: to be aware of the merciful love of the Father so that we also become instruments of salvation for our brothers.”
Pope Francis made this statement when addressing participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization at the Vatican this afternoon, as they embark upon planning the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy the Pope has entrusted to their care.
The jubilee begins Dec. 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Holy Spirit, the 78-year-old Pope underscored, is “the protagonist of evangelization,” as well as “the architect of the growth of the Church in understanding the truth of Christ.”
“It is He who opens the heart of believers and transforms it,” he said, “so that the forgiveness received can become an experience of love for brothers.”
It is always the Spirit, Francis continued, that opens the minds of the disciples of Christ so they can understand better what is required of them and how they are to give witness.
“We are in such need of the Spirit, to open our minds and our hearts,” the Pope said, especially given challenges nowadays.
“This is what men expect from the Church today: that she is able to walk with them offering the company of the witness of faith, which renders one in solidarity with all, in particular with those most alone and marginalized. How many poor – also poor in the faith – await the Gospel that liberates!”
“How many men and women, in the existential peripheries generated by the consumeristic, atheist society, await our closeness and our solidarity!”
Saved from weakness
“The help we invoke is already the first step of God’s mercy to us,” Francis said. “He comes to save us from the condition of weakness in which we live. And his help consists in making us grasp his presence and his closeness.”
The Holy Father thanked the participants for all they are doing to prepare the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and reminded them that it is “a Holy Year that I have entrusted to you.”
In this time of great changes, Pope Francis highlighted, this holy year is to make the gift of mercy appear more evidently as the Church works toward further evangelization.
The Holy Father concluded, entrusting them to Mary, imparting his blessing, and asking them to pray for him.
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