Vatican City ( Agenzia Fides) - "The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus... In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come". This is how the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii gaudium" of the Holy Father Francis begins "on the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world", published at the conclusion of the Year of Faith, which reaps the fruits of the Synod of Bishops on "The New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith" celebrated from 7 to 28 October 2012.
The document is divided into five chapters, an introduction and a conclusion dedicated to "Mary, Mother of evangelization". As explained by the Pontiff himself in text (num. 17), "I have chosen to present some guidelines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality. In this context, and on the basis of the teaching of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, I have decided, among other themes, to discuss at length the following questions: a) The reform of the Church in her missionary outreach. b) The temptations faced by pastoral workers. c) The Church, understood as the entire People of God which evangelizes. d) The homily and its preparation. e) The inclusion of the poor in society. f) Peace and dialogue within society. g) The spiritual motivations for mission."
In the third chapter, dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel, the Pope writes in num.120: "In virtue of their Baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples... Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus; we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”. If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (Jn 4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20). So what are we waiting for?" (SL) (Agenzia Fides 27/11/2013)