VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must be willing to move where the Spirit leads them and not be benchwarmers on the sidelines of efforts to evangelize, Pope Francis said.
Evangelization “isn’t a well-thought-out plan of proselytism” but rather an occasion in which the Holy Spirit “tells you how you should go to bring the word of God, to carry Jesus’ name,” the pope said in his homily April 19 during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“A ‘couch potato’ evangelization doesn’t exist. Get up and go! Be always on the move. Go to the place where you must speak the word (of God),” he said.
The pope reflected on the day’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles in which the apostle Philip, after being commanded by an angel, preaches the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch and baptizes him.
Comparing the event to a wind that carries seedlings and plants them, Pope Francis said it was a beautiful account of how God works in evangelization.
“This is how the Lord evangelizes, this is how the Lord proclaims, this is how the Lord wants us to evangelize,” the pope said.
The great wind carrying the seed of God’s word, he added, was the Christian persecution which caused the disciples to spread out and preach the Gospel.
Christians, he said, “cannot evangelize theoretically” but must get up, approach others and proclaim God’s word beginning from a person’s concrete situation.
But even the best, most active plan of evangelization will not work without the Holy Spirit’s gifts and guidance, he said. “It is the Spirit that pushes us to get up, to approach others and to begin from their situations.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103