Monday, 30 June 2014

Evangelii Gaudium

I presented the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, to the whole college this morning.  It was an interesting exercise, personally and as an academic body.  Personally re-reading this for a presentation was a challenge in itself.  From all that I picked up - say, 'selective reading' - I now better appreciate Pope Francis for being quite bold about his vision and mission for the Church.  To say things during a sermon in a hospice for the travelers is something and endorsing it officially in the form of an apostolic exhortation is quite another.
Pope Francis is proving to be too good to miss and hard to resist! His simplicity and clarity of thought are amazing.  Best is that he is leading by personal example what he is officially challenging us to live by.

About the document proper, I thought the opening line of the exhortation could very well be considered a one-line summary of the same:  The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus (# 1).

Of course, my favourite quote remains:
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). 
Later in the same para, he adds:
More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up withing structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: "Give them something to eat" (# 49).

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