Like the sower in Jesus’ parable (cf. Matthew 13:2-9, Mark 4:1-9 and Luke 8:4-8), we must “go out to sow” the love of Jesus without complexes, with new ardor and hope. I bring you some distinctive features of those called to be apostles, missionaries and collaborators in the work of evangelization.
- The evangelizer must be “in love” with Jesus Christ, that he considers him his great friend, his everything, and that he proposes the evangelical truth and the salvation that Jesus Christ offers, with respect and without pressure. Thus he will value the religious freedom of the other, offering and proposing to him the choice of the truth of Christ. Everyone has the right to receive the announcement of the Good News of salvation, which is Christ himself, which will lead him to conversion and personal adherence to the faith, in the Church.
- You must be a person of hope. May he not only trust in himself but welcome the action of the Spirit that is already active in the hearts of others, in the culture of his time, and with the conviction that we live in the time that God the Father has arranged for us. No pessimism. With a patient attitude, without expecting easy harvests or wanting to harvest where perhaps it has not been sown. Hope drives away fear and helps us to welcome new challenges with courage.
- He lives by prayer and union with God, and loves the Word and the Sacraments. Note that we live from God. We are weak and sinful, but He “endures” us and establishes us. Continuously reviewing the quality of our love for God and our neighbor, donation to the poor, the experience of faith and the humility of our lives. Listening and studying the Word of God, forming ourselves and leading a life of conversion, sacramental and prayer that nourishes and enlivens the love of Christ.
- Passionate about the Church,accepts it with its limits and greatness, and works passionately for communion and unity. The evangelizer participates in his own community, is a living member of the Church and a humble forger of ecclesial communion. He loves and values other paths of spirituality or ecclesial action. He does not make a faith to his measure, nor does he dissent or criticize sterilely.
- It is a testimony of mercy and joyeven mature optimism. Give time and attention to people. It has to capture more what unites than what separates, the positive of people and ideas. And this from trust in God. Without adapting to the guidelines of the world away from God, but the other way around, proposing the truth of the Gospel in everything, and when necessary, going against the current.
- A believer who loves generously and makes his own convictions known, with a love that does not shy away from complicating life and sacrificing itself, when appropriate. She lives poverty, austerity and trust in God, with “authenticity” and coherence. In contact with others, with openness and dialogue to contribute the reasons for one’s own Christian living, and also listening to the reasons of the other, with friendship and respect, but making explicit what is often kept secret, too silent or implicit. With a lifestyle that “attracts” to Christ and the values of the Kingdom of God.
+ Joan Enric Vives Sicily
Archbishop, Bishop of Urgell