Do you have evangelizing passion? Apostolic zeal? What are you passionate about and how do you transmit that passion and enthusiasm?
EVANGELIZING, A PASSION THAT INVOLVES THE WHOLE PERSON
The Holy Father began today’s general audience catechesis by noting the theme, “The passion of evangelizing, apostolic zeal.” Evangelizing is not saying, ‘Look, blah, blah, blah’ and nothing more. There is a passion that involves everything: the mind, the heart, the hands, going out… everything, the whole person is involved with this proclamation of the Gospel, and for this reason we talk about the passion for evangelizing.
Today, he went on, “we now consider the calling of the twelve apostles, whom Jesus chose “to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the Good News.” Both aspects of that call are essential, for only by closeness to Jesus do we learn to proclaim him and not ourselves, his word and not our own.”
Jesus tells the apostles “to share the gift that they themselves received, the unmerited gift of God’s redeeming love. Their message must be his own: that the kingdom of God is at hand and requires only that we receive it with open hearts.”
Francis explained that He also “addresses a discourse to them, known as the ‘missionary discourse’—this is what it is called in the Gospel. It is found in chapter 10 of Matthew’s Gospel and is like the ‘constitution’ of the proclamation. From that discourse, which I recommend you read today—it is only one page in the Gospel—I draw out three aspects: why proclaim, what to proclaim and how to proclaim!
“Jesus also tells the apostles that they are sent forth like sheep among wolves, to propose the Gospel above all by their witness of meekness, innocence and personal conviction, proclaiming Christ more by their actions than by their words.”
Citing St John Chrysostom’s Homily 33 on the Gospel of Matthew, Francis said this Church Father wrote: “As long as we are lambs, we will conquer, and even if we are surrounded by many wolves, we will overcome them. But if we become wolves—‘Ah, how clever, look, I feel good about myself’—we will be defeated, because we will be deprived of the shepherd’s help. He does not shepherd wolves, but lambs’ If I want to be the Lord’s, I have to allow Him to be my shepherd; and He is not the shepherd of wolves, He is the shepherd of lambs, meek, humble, kind as the Lord is.”
The Church, as “apostolic”, is entirely missionary; each of us, in Baptism, is called by Jesus to live in closeness to him and to be sent forth, in union with all our brothers and sisters, to bear witness to his Gospel before the world.
VATICAN AID TO EARTHQUAKE STRUCK TURKEY, SYRIA
Following the catastrophe caused by the earthquakes that struck Syria and Turkey on 6 February, Pope Francis appealed for closeness and concrete support to alleviate the pain of those who are suffering from the disaster. Nine days after the powerful earthquakes, the rising death toll has topped 41,000. Millions of people have been left without a home and a livelihood.
While the Pope issued his appeal during Sunday’s Angelus, he too put words into action through the Dicastery for the Service of Charity.
Crates of aid departed from the Port of Naples on Wednesday morning aboard the MSC Aurelia Cargo ship that is scheduled to dock in Iskenderum, Turkey in two days’ time.
As well as aid from the Italian government and other NGOs, the ship carries 10,000 thermal jumpers delivered personally by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner. The thermal garments are destined for the Kilis refugee camp in Turkey, 50 km from Gaziantep and 60 km from the Syrian city of Aleppo.
The distribution of aid will be entrusted to operators of the Rava Foundation, which has been present in the area for some time and provides food and shelter to thousands of homeless people.
Following the outbreak of war in Syria, the camp has expanded to accommodate some 60,000 refugees, but it is also home to many others who live in makeshift tents. As expected, the earthquake has aggravated the situation and hundreds of people are joining the refugee families. (Vaticannews)