By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The New and Ever Old Evangelization

Jesuit Fr. Pedro Arrupe (photo credit: Iglesia Descalza blog)
It's old (in fact, ancient) and always new. I think we see it in the new Pope--a man very distant in spirit from political and economic neo-conservatism (note: I am not talking about theological conservatism). 

Here are the Jesuit roots of this new evangelization:

77 28.  From all over the world where Jesuits are working, very similar and very insistent requests have been made that, by a clear decision on the part of the General Congregation, the Society should commit itself to work for the promotion of justice.  Our apostolate today urgently requires that we take this decision.  As apostles we are bearers of the Christian message.  And at the heart of the Christian message is God revealing Himself in Christ as the Father of us all whom through the Spirit He calls to conversion.  In its integrity, then, conversion means accepting that we are at one and the same time children of the Father and brothers and sisters of each other.  There is no genuine conversion to the love of God without conversion to the love of neighbor and, therefore, to the demands of justice.  Hence, fidelity to our apostolic mission requires that we propose the whole of Christian salvation and lead others to embrace it. Christian salvation consists in an undivided love of the Father and of the neighbor and of justice.  Since evangelization is proclamation of that faith which is made operative in love of others, the promotion of justice is indispensable to it.

32nd General Congregation, Decree 4 (1974-75).  Source link.

Any evangelization, whether we call it new or not, grows from a spirit of humility. In a world of disillusionment, humility is credible. It has always been so. Twitter accounts, TV appearances, politician-style glad-handing won't work apart from humility. The medium must match the message. We can't preach humility and act like all the rest.  

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