A. What is it?
“Evangelii Nuntiandi” is an apostolic exhortation by Pope Paul VI.
“Evangelii Nuntiandi” is a phrase in Latin which means, “Evangelization in the Modern World”
This apostolic exhortation was issued on 8 December 1975
Written 10 years after Vatican II, in a direct effort to reverse the collapse of missionary zeal that unfortunately happened after the Council, “Evangelii Nuntiandi” clearly explains what evangelization is and how to go about evangelizing in the modern world.
B. What does it speak of?
“Evangelii Nuntiandi” affirms the role of every Christian, not only ordained ministers, priests, and deacons, or religious, or professional church staff, in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis said here that it’s “the greatest pastoral document that has ever been written to this day!”
The exhortation has an introduction followed by 7 sections.
Introduction: Articulates evangelization as the Church’s primary service.
Section 1: Highlights the connection between Christ the evangelizer and his Church which imitates his example.
Section 2: A definition of evangelization is proposed, in contrast to all of the other possible conceptions of the term.
Section 3: Explains the content of evangelization.
Section 4: Describes the methods of evangelization.
Section 5: Denotes the beneficiaries of evangelization
Section 6: Clarifies who the workers in evangelization are.
Section 7: Speaks about the Spirit of evangelization
C. Pointers for Reflections
- Jesus is the 1st and greatest evangelist.
“Jesus Himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and the greatest evangelizer; He was so through and through: to perfection and to the point of the sacrifice of His earthly life”
“Evangelization will also always contain – as the foundation, center, and at the same time, summit of its dynamism – a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all men, as a gift of God’s grace and mercy”
- Evangelization is the essential mission of the Church.
“Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection”
“The purpose of evangelization is an interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that ‘the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims…'”
D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Evangelii Nuntiandi” for this Season of Lent?
- Authentic witnesses are needed to evangelize.
“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses”
Evangelical zeal “must spring from true holiness of life”
- The Holy Spirit is the principal agent & goal of evangelization.
“Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit!”
Techniques of evangelization are good, but even the most advanced ones could not replace the gentle action of the Spirit. The most perfect preparation of the evangelizer has no effect without the Holy Spirit!
E. Tips to practice these virtues
- Live the prayers and the values of Christ in our daily lives
- Allow the Holy Spirit to be our walking companion – in everything we do
May this Lent and the familiarity with “Evangelii Nuntiandi” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”
CLICK TO READ the Full Text of “Evangelii Nuntiandi” at https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19751208_evangelii-nuntiandi.html
God Bless! Live Jesus!