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Day: September 12, 2015

Pope’s schedule until November

The apostolic visit to Cuba and the United States starting next weekend, the Synod on the Family and a canonization ceremony next month and the commemoration of the dead and his first pastoral visit to Africa in Nov. are the highlights of the schedule of Pope Francis in the coming days and two months.  Msgr. Guido Marini, the Pope’s master of liturgical ceremonies on Saturday released the schedule of the Holy Father for the rest of September until November.  The Pope will be on a busy apostolic visit September 19-28  to Cuba and the US.  On Oct. 3, the eve of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican, the Pope will lead a prayer service in St. Peter’s Square.  ‎The Oct. ‎‎4-25 Synod will be on the “the vocation and the mission of the family in the church and in the ‎contemporary world.”  ‎ During the synod, the Pope will also celebrate a canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 18, to declare two men and two women saints.  Among them are Ludovico Martin and Maria Azelia Guerin, the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Little Flower of Jesus.  The Pope will conclude the synod with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 25. The Holy Father will observe the various liturgies to commemorate the dead, Nov. 1-5.   And he will conclude the month of November with a pastoral visit to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, Nov. 25-30.  (from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: Keep people at the centre of the economy

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Saturday with directors and employees, along with their families, of the Banca di Credito Cooperativo (the BCC) of Rome, an Italian credit union, on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of its foundation.
In his address, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of cooperatives, noting that these kinds of groups are frequently referenced in the Church’s social teaching, including in his own Encyclical Laudato sì. Noting his earlier meetings with similar groups, the Holy Father recalled seven areas of encouragement for cooperatives.
Among them, Pope Francis spoke of the need “to continue to be the motor that develops the weakest part of the local community and of civil society,” mentioning especially young people in search of jobs and building new cooperative enterprises. He also encouraged them be attentive to the relationship between the economy and social justice; to foster and encourage the life of the family; and to build an economy based on honesty. Finally, he called on them to “participate actively in globalization, so that it might be a globalization of solidarity.”
The greatest challenge facing cooperatives, he continued, was not simply to become a large, successful company, but rather to grow as a true cooperative, seeking the humanization of the economy, and uniting good business sense with solidarity.
Pope Francis also spoke about the importance of subsidiarity in Catholic social teaching. Subsidiarity, he said, means not relying on social institutions or on government aid when one can face problems through one’s own resources. He also highlighted the charitable work of the BCC, which he said is typical of good cooperatives. He encouraged them to always keep people at the centre of their concerns, especially young people and families. Cooperatives he said, can lead the way among companies that work to humanize – that is, put people – at the centre of the economy.
Finally, the Holy Father encouraged his listeners to “participate actively and generously” in the life of the entire cooperative movement. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Cardinal Filoni in Bangladesh: Dialogue without compromising Faith

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is in Bangladesh on a pastoral visit.
He told a meeting of Bishops that he is “well aware of the difficulties” encountered by religious minorities in Bangladesh, a majority-Muslim nation.
“The great challenge is to live in harmony with those professing other religions, to search for common ground for dialogue without compromising the truth of our faith and not giving up on possible conversions to our faith, no matter how difficult and delicate this may be,” Cardinal Filoni said.
“Please build harmonious relationships with everyone. Other religions are neither our rivals nor our competitors,” he continued. “They are part of our spiritual ministry and dialogue, of our Christian affection, and of our high esteem.”
Cardinal Filoni, in another meeting involving bishops, priests, and religious, said missionaries “are the fruits of a people who pray and live the joy of the Gospel, of a people who accept the consequences of their baptism.”
The full text of Cardinal Filoni’s two addresses are below
Speech to the Bishops of Bangladesh
Dear Brother Bishops,
It is my great pleasure to be here with you for these few days. I would like to thank the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop George Kocherry – who closely collaborated with His Grace, Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, acting on behalf of the Episcopal Conference and the entire Catholic community of Bangladesh – for giving me the opportunity of making this, my very first visit to Bangladesh possible. Besides thanking Archbishop D’Rozario, we also greet him and pray for him in a special way on this, the day of his Silver Jubilee of Episcopal Ordination. Yesterday, I had the joy of celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the creation of the Diocese of Rajshahi where the then Bishop Patrick D’Rozario first exercised his episcopal ministry. During the Jubilee celebrations I experienced the warm hospitality of the people of Bangladesh and witnessed their vibrant faith. There is no doubt that the present situation of the Diocese of Rajshahi is a consequence, a collective result, of the collaboration of various Missionaries, Priests, Religious, Catechists, and Lay Leaders, who worked in union with their first Pastor Bishop Patrick D’Rozario. We also must not neglect to thank his immediate successor in the pastoral governance of Rajshahi, the late Bishop Paulinus Costa, who passed away earlier this year in January. May he rest in peace! Before leaving this world he also collaborated closely with Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario as his Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Dhaka. Today, His Excellency Bishop Gervas Rozario, continues to guide the people of God in Rajshahi, trying his utmost to move the community forward and to improve on the good things that his predecessors had achieved up to now.
  The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry, was very happy to inform me that all of the Bishops in Bangladesh are in a deep communion with the Holy See. Each one of you should be a sign of unity and communion in your Local Church, ever united and in tune with the Pope, the Vicar of Christ. This communion has many aspects: magisterium, intentions, and pastoral implementation of the entire Catholic Church. This unity should also be evident in your Episcopal Conference.  Although your Episcopal body is relatively small in number, it needs to take advantage of being united first with Christ and then with the community of the faithful: with the Priests, with other essential collaborators in pastoral activity, and with Consecrated Religious men and women, who are bearers of the charism of their deep devotion to God and to the Church. The faithful in Bangladesh have a right to see their Bishops living in communion, both in the pastoral decisions taken by them and in their implementation. Try to sow unity and not division in your Dioceses. As Bishops, you are “Fathers” and “Pastors” of the flock, who are to guide it in one direction so that it will not be scattered. Please develop a clear mission and vision for your Local Church. The context of each Diocese may be somewhat different and each local Church may, therefore, have diverse missionary activities and ways of evangelizing. However, the direction of all of the Dioceses must always be one and the same.
Unity does not imply uniformity. Nevertheless, all of the initiatives and implications of your mission and vision should always be tuned towards God, because they are His alone. No Bishop should claim that a Diocese is his personal possession. The Church belongs to Christ and we are His servants, who strive to do His will. All the baptized belong to the Church and its Pastors are entrusted with guiding the members along the right path. We are servants not lords.
                For a Pastor to lead the flock along the right path, he has to have acquired the “smell of his sheep”. We have often heard Pope Francis using such an expression and often he would add that Pastors should go to the peripheries in order to encounter the least among their brethren. In your reports you yourselves testify to the large number of persons receiving baptisms and to the many conversions that usually take place in rural areas and within tribal groups. Please continue this mission! I encourage you to promote the evangelization of these people, who are so dear to Christ, but without neglecting the task of your other pastoral responsibilities in the cities and in urban areas.
I am also very pleased to know that all of you are very pastoral, going out to visit parishes, outstations, and other institutions. I congratulate you for this and I highly encourage all of you to remain steadfast in this task, even though I understand how difficult it must be to travel to far off areas of your Dioceses. This will demonstrate that we are public servants. Besides, you know full well how grateful and privileged these people feel when they are visited by their Pastor. Let them feel the concern, love, and compassion of the Church for them through your presence and by your words of encouragement; by your preaching of the Word of God and by witnessing through your good deeds. Your pastoral ministry should be all-encompassing and never exclusive.
I am well aware of the difficulties that you encounter living as a minority in Bangladesh. The great challenge is to live in harmony with those professing other religions, to search for common ground for dialogue without compromising the truth of our faith and not giving up on possible conversions to our faith, no matter how difficult and delicate this may be. Please build harmonious relationships with everyone. Other religions are neither our rivals nor our competitors. They are part of our spiritual ministry and dialogue, of our Christian affection, and of our high esteem. Pope Francis reminds us that faith arises not only through preaching but also through personal contact and witness. In fact, the grace of faith is always a gift from God, who also awakens it in unpredictable and unknown ways. 
                We know that the basic task of missionary activity is to sow the seed of faith in places where the Word of God has not been heard. We are called to establish local Churches rooted in the culture of each nation but always consonant with the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church. In time every Local Church must grow to stand on its own, with diocesan clergy and local Bishops, so that missionary activity reaches every remote and needy area.
Please try to give abundant attention to the formation in your seminaries. Let us pray that the Lord may send good laborers into His vineyard. Provide the candidates to the priesthood with a well-equipped team of formators who can impart to them the teaching of the Catholic Church in its integrity and who can infuse in their minds and hearts an authentic spirit of the ministerial priesthood of Christ in which they shall participate and share. When it comes to further studies, please discern very well with each candidate, indicating to him that such studies do not add anything to the dignity of an ecclesiastic but that sometimes they are a grace from God for the broadening of horizons of your local Church. These opportunities should always be oriented towards the service of the Church in Bangladesh. Therefore, when your Priests are sent to study abroad, I recommend that they not prolong their stay outside of their Dioceses for too long, because this may not be consistent with the purpose of their preparation for future ministry.
                Priestly formation is a life-long process. Your Priests have the right to an on-going formation and Bishops have the responsibility of providing their collaborators with suitably structured formation for their personal growth in virtue and sanctity. I encourage you to be diligent in organizing monthly days of retreat and spiritual exercises, as well as regular clergy gatherings, which build and strengthen fraternal bonds between Priests, both diocesan and religious. Please establish a spirit of dialogue, unity, and paternal guidance with Priests who may be undergoing difficult moments. Cultivate in them the attitude of a son to his father. Treat them with the esteem that is due to essential collaborators, giving them full confidence but not being indifferent towards them if there is a need to correct something in their attitudes, lifestyle, and behavior. Above all, pray for your Priests!  
The shortage of vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life is not unique to Bangladesh. It is a universal phenomenon. On the other hand, the task of evangelization is not something that pertains exclusively to ordained ministers. By virtue of their baptism, all of the faithful share in the three-fold office of Jesus Christ: Priest, Prophet, and King. Religious and catechists have a great role to play in communicating Catholic doctrine in the schools and other centers. They also help prepare catechumens for the reception of the Sacraments. Indeed, there are many other possibilities for lay faithful to organize groups and programs that could help with the Christian formation of families and with building up of basic Christian communities in areas that are rarely visited by a Priest.  Every faithful baptized person has the right and duty to participate actively in the life of the Church and in the work of evangelization but Pastors have the greater responsibility of providing them with the formation they need in order to be properly prepared to carry out their specific task as lay evangelizers without, however, confusing their role with that of the ordained ministers. Please make clear to them that they should always act and function in communion with the Catholic Church and in collaboration with the hierarchy.
Lay faithful could also be of great help in the administration of the Diocese within the scope of their particular competency. This will also provide transparency in financial matters, which the Pope strongly urges from each one of us. There are certain things in which the faithful may be well versed in and, therefore, sometimes more competent than clerics in some areas related to management. The task of Pastors, then, is to carefully select and thoroughly form these persons, so that they might serve the Local Church with a proper disposition and an upright spirit. 
The People of God has high expectations from you as Bishops. The faithful look up to you to deepen their faith. Their sentiments are precious and offer you abundant material for reflection, for prayer, for planning of pastoral activities, and for thanksgiving to God for calling you to such a vital ministry in the Church at this point in time. Your people expect you to be hard-working missionaries; promoters of communion; collaborators in the Church; and among the first to encourage the Priests, the Religious and the Lay Faithful. They also expect you to be active and knowledgeable in making appropriate contributions in social and political matters. If the people perceive that you have a correct approach, they will willingly give you support.
On behalf of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your dedication to the task entrusted to you. I also wish to convey the Apostolic Blessing of the Holy Father on your Episcopal Conference and assure you of my prayers that all your efforts will bear much fruit for the benefit of the Church in Bangladesh.
 9-13 SEPTEMBER 2015
General Meeting with Bishops, Major Religious Superiors, Priests, Lay People from each Diocese
12 September 2015, Saturday, 11:00am
The missionary outlook in Evangelii gaudium:
From a mission-Church to a Church “in mission”
I would like to greet the Apostolic Nuncio and all of you here present, together with your Bishops, representing the Dioceses of Bangladesh, and consequently, the People of God in this noble country. 
I am particularly pleased to have this opportunity to be together with you and to reflect on a fundamental perspective that is very dear to Pope Francis, that is, on the common vision that we should all have today within the Church, and which was expressed with great lucidity and clarity in his programmatic document published at the beginning of his Pontificate, which deals with evangelization and missionary outlook, namely, his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium. I am convinced that this important document could provide Bishops with a programmatic vision for a missionary outlook towards which they would guide their Dioceses, while at the same time calling their Priests to a spirit of simplicity, charity, and holiness in the guiding of parish communities; the Religious to a more profound zeal; and the Lay Faithful to greater courage and engagement as major agents of evangelization.   
I will consider this theme by presenting the following four points:
1.            The novelty of Evangelii gaudium.
2.            The aim of this document.
3.            The Church as the agent in mission.
4.            The content of a missionary outlook.
1. The novelty of Evangelii gaudium.
First of all, it must be said that Evangelii gaudium is not a pontifical document composed in the traditional manner, that is, subdivided into various sections: theological (typically the first part), ecclesial (second part), and finally a practical section that would refer to various aspects of human life and relevant ecclesiastical recommendations (third part). For example, we can think of Evangelii nuntiandi by Paul VI or Redemptoris missio by John Paul II.  Moreover, it is not a document that is addressed exclusively to a single category of persons who are obliged to deal with the Gospel in a quasi-professional manner. In fact, in Evangelii gaudium the word «mission», is an open term. Expressions such as missio ad gentes (to indicate the evangelization of pagans) and the new evangelization (to indicate the re-evangelization of the baptized) do not appear in the document. Indeed, it cannot even be said that it is addressed to «missionaries by vocation» as a separate category within the Church. One might then ask whether for Pope Francis the mission ad gentes no longer exists or that there is no longer any interest in a new evangelization, which seemed to be so dear to both John Paul II and Benedict XVI? The answer is categorically: NO!
I would like to immediately declare that from the very beginning Pope Francis suggests that a missionary outlook is intrinsic to the very life of the baptized, and comes prior to any other specific type of pastoral engagement. He means to say that our identity as children of God, which we receive in Baptism, is the first principle from which we become aware of being loved by God; a love clearly manifested in Jesus. Every type of missionary outlook and commitment to evangelization is born out of this awareness, which itself has to be constantly actualized. Therefore, missio ad gentes is by no means forgotten, neither is the new evangelization. As a matter of fact, the Pope recalls the great words of Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris missio: «there must be no lessening of the impetus to preach the Gospel» towards those who are far from Christ,  «for this is the first task of the Church» [RM 34]», as well as «Today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church» [RM 40]…http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_it.html – _ftn15   The Pope asks: What would happen if we were to take these words seriously? We would realize that missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity and [that]… we need to move “from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry » [ibid. 370]” (EG 15).
If this is true, and it is, then missio ad gentes should be reinvigorated in this perspective, which means a more active participation of Christian communities in the missionary task. In a community that is pushed forward by a missionary dimension, this choice should be normal, knowing full well that missionary activity is at the heart of the Church, or at least that it should become a deep yearning of an evangelizing community. Indeed, missionaries ad gentes are the fruits of a people who pray and live the joy of the Gospel, of a people who accept the consequences of their baptism. “The call to be missionary disciples flows from our baptism and is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian”.  In his Message for World Mission Sunday 2014, the Pope said that if many parts of the world are experiencing a dearth of vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life, often this is due to the absence of contagious apostolic fervour in communities which lack enthusiasm and thus fail to attract. Instead, wherever there is joy, enthusiasm and a desire to bring Christ to others, genuine vocations arise (cf. EG 107).
In the history of the Church, the response of missionaries ad gentes has always been very active and generous. This, however, cannot be said of the evangelizing responsibility of the Church as the People of God, which has very easily delegated her mission to missionary institutes or to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Pope Francis takes us beyond this kind of thinking and, broadening our perspective, places mission at the heart of the People of God, which had already been done by the Second Vatican Council (cf. AG 2).
Let us not forget that the theme of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation is «the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern world» and that this document involves the whole People of God, whose missionary vocation flows from Baptism: “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28,19)” (EG 120).  
According to the Pope, evangelization should involve a new protagonist, that is, all of us. Inasmuch as we are baptized, we are called to this “programmatic” vision: whether we are Priests, Religious or Lay Faithful, we are all called to be agents of mission, which pertains to all of the People of God.
Thus, going back to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council in number 11 of Ad gentes it says: “For all Christians, wherever they live, are bound to show forth, by the example of their lives and by the witness of the word, that new man put on at baptism and that power of the Holy Spirit by which they have been strengthened at Confirmation.”  Now is the time for “going forth” shouting with the joy of faith; for becoming wayfarers of the Faith.
Aside from presenting the motivation for a missionary outlook, Evangelii gaudium also wants to enter into a personal dialogue with each one of us. It is a document that invites us to reflect on the things that the Pope considers essential and fundamental for the Church today. He speaks to the heart and to life, and does not intend to “leave things as they presently are” (EG 25). Thus, he hopes that his words create restlessness that would encourage everyone to become involved, but in a new way. If the Gospel is an “abiding newness” (EG 41), Pope Francis says, this can no longer be transmitted by persons from the past and in ancient languages. The novelty of the Gospel in our new times requires a new language; one that is direct and closer to the people; one that needs to “touch” the people (EG 264) in the poverty of their daily lives, which are so often difficult and schizophrenic.
2. The aim of this document: to place the whole Church in a permanent state of mission.
Taking into account the theme that was developed during the 13th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “The new evangelization for the transmission of Christian faith” (7-20 of October 2012), the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium demonstrates that, as the Church’s preferential objective, evangelization or missionary activity, is “paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity”(EG 15). The pressing invitation of the Exhortation is then directed towards the “missionary conversion” (EG 25) of the whole Church. The invitation of the Pope is to assume an evangelizing style “in every activity which you undertake” (EG 18), intending “to put all things in a missionary key” (EG 34).
The Pope says: “I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has a programmatic significance and important consequences. I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are. Throughout the world, let us be “permanently in a state of mission” [cf. Doc. di Aparecida, 201 e 551]” (EG 25).
These words of Pope Francis are in line with his predecessor. Indeed, they are already present in the thought of Benedict XVI, who on many occasions during his Pontificate insisted on the necessity of a missionary conversion, starting from a deepening of the life of faith. This has to do with the “conversion” of the whole community, of the whole Church to Christ.
Perhaps in the past, we thought about and lived the Church in a certain static way, as a consolidated reality, linked with immobility and conservation, rather than a reality connected to dynamism and motion. Pope Francis prefers a Church in motion; thus the project of a “missionary outlook” that we all need to become aware of, one that is also capable of finding new expressions, new methods, and new life. In this sense, his vision is profoundly evangelical and in harmony with what Christ commanded to his disciples: go, proclaim, teach, and make disciples of all nations. The missionary spirit, then, becomes the thermometer of our faith because goodness always tends to spread and, in fact, spreading itself it “takes root and develops” (EG 9).
3. The whole Church as the agent of mission.
It is the whole Church that evangelizes (cf. AG 2). Today when the Pope uses the term «Church» he refers to something very near, existential, and real. The Church is not an abstract reality, but a concrete entity. Consequently, one cannot speak about the “missionary nature” of the Church without concretely engaging all Christians. In one of his Wednesday General Audiences, the Pope said: “The Church is all of us: from the baby just baptized to the Bishop, the Pope; we are all the Church and we are all equal in the eyes of God! We are all called to collaborate for the birth of new Christians in the faith…”. 
“The Church’s identity is this: to evangelize, that is, to make children”.  “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples. The new evangelization” – as understood by Pope Francis – “calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization. (EG 120).
A Christian must be “constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street” (EG 127). The heart of a Christian, just like the heart of the Church, cannot be understood without placing others at the center. This is the Church that we are supposed to profess.
This profession, however, is not done by lips but by deeds. This is the “going forth” that the Pope calls for from all of the faithful: “The word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in him “to go forth”. (EG 20). 
The Church of the Apostolic Exhortation is an agent at the service of proclamation; no longer a “sanctuary” or “arc”, but a Church that is dynamic, going out towards all people. This going out towards the periphery defines who is a missionary. Missionaries are “not in the centre but at the periphery…the centre is Jesus Christ, who calls us and sends us forth. The disciple is sent to the existential peripheries”. 
In June of 2013, at the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Francis said: “We must go out; we must go out to them! In this culture — let us tell the truth — we only have one, we are a minority! And do we feel the fervour, the apostolic zeal to go out and find the other 99?”. 
This message, in the plasticity of its image, went viral around the world and throughout the whole Church. A self-referential ministry of conservation paralyzes the life of the Church and communities die of inertia.
In the rather lengthy twenty-fourth (24) paragraph of the Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis once again and more profoundly explains the direction for missionary work of a Church that “goes forth”. This is not something really new, if we keep in mind the Second Vatican Council’s definition of the “pilgrim” Church: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (AG 2).  “The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice” (EG 24). When Pope Francis talks about involvement, accompaniment, bearing fruit, and feasting, he not only refers to the practical dimension in the reception of a missionary outlook and spirit. We believe that he is inviting us to live a “spiritual process”, a sort of personal positive consciousness, which leads to a new way of understanding one’s self within the ecclesial complex: “When the Church becomes closed, she becomes an ailing Church, she falls ill! That is a danger… But I tell you, I far prefer a Church that has had a few accidents to a Church that has fallen sick from being closed… Go out, go out!” 
The Church is now faced with the joyful perspective of living the experience of a new exodus. She has to move out of bondage from all that does not allow her to be faithful to the Gospel. The task that the Church must now take up and practice is one of total evangelical service to the world. To do this, she has “to go out”, without inferiority complexes. 
“Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm!” (EG 80). This is the new call of the Pope: time for God and for His Kingdom should not be robbed! This happens when we worry too much about our personal time, when one reserves a place for our autonomy, impenetrable spaces where we are no longer available to anybody. How many projects do not have any horizon, not even God, nor brothers and sisters, but have only our own interests and vanity! 
4. The content of a missionary outlook: to announce the joy of being loved by God.
A classically edited document on evangelization cannot lack a chapter on “the content of evangelization” (EN part III; RM cap. I-II). Nevertheless, Evangelii gaudium does not follow this logic because one notices the said content but in a different manner. This has to do with what we are supposed to tell or narrate, and is found in two different and precise moments: in the Word of God and in the joy of faith, which is born out of an encounter with Jesus.
a)            The Word of God is the prerequisite for proclaiming the Gospel and “all evangelization is based on that word, listened to, meditated upon, lived, celebrated and witnessed to.” (EG 174). 
Pope Francis exhorts us to have a great love for, and confidence in, the Word “which is the soul of theology and at the same time inspires the whole of Christian life”.  This also means to have faith in those who do the proclaiming. This proclamation is everyone’s prerogative, including the smallest in faith; it is not the privilege of the learned. Deep down there is a dream to see to it that the whole Church become an agent of mission.
The Word of God continues the dialogue and encounter of God with his people, particularly when it is proclaimed in the Liturgy of the community: “It is worth remembering that “the liturgical proclamation of the word of God, especially in the Eucharistic assembly, is not so much a time for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue between God and his people, a dialogue in which the great deeds of salvation are proclaimed and the demands of the covenant are continually restated” (EG 137). 
Pope Francis once said to the members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission that “the Church’s life and mission are founded on the Word of God which is the soul of theology and at the same time inspires the whole of Christian life”.   That is why, “Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading. […] Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word” (EG 175). 
b)           Secondly, the joy of faith, which is born from an encounter with Christ. What is this joy? “The heart of its message will always be the same: the God who revealed his immense love in the crucified and risen Christ… Christ is the “eternal Gospel” (Rev 14:6); he “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8), yet his riches and beauty are inexhaustible.” (EG 11). “Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved” (EG 6). “Dear brothers and sisters, what a joy to believe in a God who is all love, all grace!”
“True joy does not come from things or from possessing, no! It is born from the encounter, from the relationship with others, it is born from feeling accepted, understood and loved, and from accepting, from understanding and from loving; and this is not because of a passing fancy but because the other is a person. Joy is born from the gratuitousness of an encounter!”
This manifestation of the love of God in Jesus has a precise recipient, every person, including myself, in the experience of being saved by Jesus Christ. The experience of amazement in the encounter reveals the mystery of God’s love for me. This is where I find the reasons for the mission and its content. Indeed, Pope Francis will say: “The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him.  What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts.” (EG 264). 
Therefore, it is the love of God that fills us with joy and not personal perfection or the fulfillment of the law. Truly, the joy of communicating oneself can only come through such a grace. This is the “heart of the Gospel.” All other truths that are to be communicated are organized around it. It is a novelty that is never closed or finished. This is why the Church never ceases to amaze herself and lives the abiding joy that is ever new, around which she must revolve and in which she finds new missionary impulse. The “way of the Gospel” is born of this loveliness, which is not so much that of being a “people of the Church” (in the classical sense of the term) but of being a “people of the Gospel”; people that have centered their lives in Christ, “in the heart of the Gospel” (EG 36).
Thank you for your patient attention. 
(from Vatican Radio)…