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Santa Marta: Three Aspects of Evangelization

June 11, 2018. Homily on Memorial of St. Barnabas

The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of evangelization and the three-point power behind spreading the gospel.

That was the theme of the June 11, 2018, homily by Pope Francis during Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, as reported by Vatican News.

Speaking on the Memorial of St. Barnabas, Pope Francis explained the three points that are present in the liturgy of the day.

Proclamation: This is unlike any other form of communications. Due to the action of the Holy Spirit, it has the power “to change hearts”. There have been pastoral plans that seem to be perfect, Pope Francis said. “They were incapable of changing hearts” because they were ends in themselves. “They were not instruments of evangelization.” (Acts 11:21-26; 12: 1-3 and Matthew 10:7-13)

Service: “We can say good things but without service it is not proclamation,” the Holy Father explained. “It may seem to be, but it is not, because the Spirit not only carries you forward to proclaim the truths of the Lord and the life of the Lord, but He also brings you to the service of the brothers and sisters, even in small things. It’s awful when you find evangelizers who make others serve them and who live to be served. They are like the princes of evangelization – how awful.”

Gratuitousness: The Holy Spirit gives us gifts we have not earned and expects no payment (Matthew 10:8). Francis explains:

“All of us have been saved gratuitously by Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must give gratuitously. Those who carry out the pastoral work of evangelization must learn this. Their life must be gratuitous, given in service, proclamation, borne by the Spirit. Their personal poverty forces them to open themselves up to the Spirit.”