Why is it necessary
to announce Jesus Christ?
It is necessary to announce Jesus Christ for multiple and complementary reasons.
It is asked for by:
God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Gospel, the human person, the Christian, the Church, today’s society..
GOD THE FATHER
asks that the announcement of His Son Jesus Christ be made to all.
For what reason?
Because God “wants all men to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
Due to this reason:
- He sent His Son Jesus Christ, who is His definitive and perfect Word and our Saviour
- and gives us the Holy Spirit, thanks to whom we believe in Christ and invoke God as Father.
In what way does God want to make His Son known to all?
God has inscribed in the heart of man the desire to know Him and to love Him, and never ceases to draw every person to Him, through His Son in the Holy Spirit. At the same time, he entrusts the mission to make His Son known and to communicate the salvation realised by Him to men, gathered by Him in His Church His People
came into this world in order that “all may have life and have it in abundance” (Jn 10:10).
How does Jesus Christ carry out such a mission?
- announces the ‘Good News’ to all;
- Poffers His life, by dying on the cross, “for you and for all, so that sins may be forgiven” (cf. Mt 26:28)
- gave this order to His disciples before returning to the Father: “Go forth, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19)
- presents Himself as different from others, as Unique!
Why is Jesus Christ Unique?
Since He is the Only Son of God, one in being with the Father: “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30). Therefore, it is
He, and only He, who:
- makes us know the Father in the fullest, perfect and definitive manner: “Whoever sees me, sees the Father” (Jn 14:9)
- gives us, through His death and resurrection, true and complete salvation: “Only in him there is salvation; for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved” (At 4:12).
Does Jesus Christ deprive man of anything?
Jesus Christ does not take away anything from man. On the contrary, He:
- gives him the new divine life of children of God
- brings to fulfilment, after purification, all that is true-good-beautiful in every person and in every relig
- fully realises the genuine aspirations of man.
- opens new horizons to man, shows him the way and gives him the grace to realise them
- does not diminish, but rather exalts human freedom and hastens it towards its fulfilment, in the joyful encounter with God and in free and attentive love for the good of all men.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
effused in us by God the Father, through the risen Christ, drives us to be announcers of the Good News, so that all “may know Him, the only true God and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ” (Jn 17:3).
With His light and grace, humanity can, in Christ, “find, in unsuspected fullness, all that it is looking for about God, man and his destiny, life and death, truth”, as John Paul ii recalls in Redemptoris missio (n.7).
of Christ has to be proclaimed to all.
Since it is capable of:
- instilling enthusiasm in people of every age, culture, language...
- permeating every form of life which does not exclude it a priori. And that’s because the Word of Christ in not bound “in an exclusive and indissoluble manner to any race or nation, or to any specific way of life, or to any ancient or recent custom” (Vat. Council ii, GS 58) The Gospel is meant for all cultures; the latter can be “fermented” by the Gospel: as the seed which falls on the ground, and where possible, germinates and bears fruit; or as the yeast which ferments the mass, or as salt which adds flavour to the food, or as the morning dew or rain which allows every type of vegetation to grow.
- “The Gospel of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man, fights and removes errors and evils resulting from the ever threatening allurement of sin. It constantly purifies and raises the morality of people, and in Christ, resortes the spiritual qualities and gift of every people” (GS 58)
THE HUMAN PERSON,
especially since it is capable of dialogue with its Creator, has the right and duty to:
- listen to the Truth, in the most authentic, whole and complete manner possible: the “Good News” of God which is revealed and given to us in Christ. In this way, a person realises his vocation in the fullest manner
- proclaim the Truth, in order to share one’s own faith with others: the desire and the concrete commitment to make others participate in one’s goods, which one receives as gifts and which one appreciates, is characteristic of man
- live one’s life to the fullest: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4).
Why do people need the announcement of Christ?
- frees man from sin and makes him a child of God
- reveals to man his integral and original identity
- exercises an extraordinary force of attraction and conviction even on today’s man. It is therefore necessary to announce to all men, in a serene and positive manner, the Christian Truth in its integrity, in its completeness, in its harmony, and why not?, even in its beauty, which fascinates today’s man greatly. In this way it will be possible for the person to know and welcome that ‘veritatis splendor’ which is Christ himself.
every Christian in so far as is Christian, has the right and duty to proclaim Jesus Christ.
What is the foundation of this right/duty?
- is founded on religious freedom, the natural right of every man
- is a profound requirement of the life of God in him. The need to proclaim the Gospel to all arises in the Christian from the need to share with others all that is original, specific and unique which he has received from others, i.e. the faith
- is founded on Christ’s command: “Go to the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16)
- is indispensable so that others may come to know and welcome Christ in order to obtain salvation. In fact, in order to believe in Him, one needs to hear about Him, and that implies that someone who has already known Him, announces Him to the others. In fact: “How then are they to call on Him if they have not come to believe in Him first? And how can they believe in Him, if they have not heard of Him? And how will they hear of Him if there is no one to announce Him?” (Rm 10:14).
THE CHURCH ,
has announced Christ always and everywhere.
Why? And in what manner?
- The Church exists, not to announce herself or a new or any other religion, but to announce and communicate Christ
- The first and principal task of the entire Church in its bi-millenary tradition has been and is: the ‘traditio evangelii’ (the communication of the Gospel).
- It is the right and duty of the Church, of the entire Church, to announce the entire Gospel to each and every man, in the most faithful manner possible, avoiding reductionisms and ambiguity, and giving first place in all its concerns and activities to this announcem.
- The Apostles themselves, at the beginning of the life of the Church, gave the first place to the announcement of Christ: “It would not be right for us to neglect the Word of God so as to give out food. So then, brothers, choose from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom, to whom we can hand over this duty. We, instead, will continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (At 6: 2-4).
- After the Apostles, several others have made these words of St. Paul their very own: “In fact, preaching the Gospel gives me nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion: how terrible it would be for me if I were not to preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). The preaching of the Gospel is a responsibility and an honour!
- Every activity of the Church (even those directed to charity, the defence of human rights, of peace, etc.) should be inseparable from the task of helping others to encounter Christ in the faith. This rule has been valid throughout the history of the Church and will continue to always be so. In the course of history, the initiatives to spread the Gospel have been innumerable and profoundly characterise the entire life of the People of God: they lead to an encounter with Christ.
- The evangelising action of the Church can never fail, because never the Lord’s presence ever will be lacking with the power of the Holy Spirit, according to His promise: “I am with you always, right till the end of time” (Mt 28:20).
- The Church, by announcing Christ – the Truth and Salvation of man, meets the need of those who are sincerely looking for the Truth and Salvation, establishing with them a motivated, focused dialogue, centred on the love for Truth.
- Each of us is called to sanctity in the Church. Now sanctity means following the footsteps of Christ who came to announce the Good News of salvation to all and has entrusted this mission of proclaiming the Good News to every Christian and to the Church.
needs the proclamation of the Gospel.
How is such a need manifested?
For the reasons mentioned above, and others which could be added, it is absolutely necessary to announce Jesus Christ who died and rose to life for us all.
- Today’s cultural context, marked either by a diffused relativism or by the temptation of an easy pragmatism, demands more than ever the courageous announcement of the Truth which saves man and society.
- The socio-ethical order needs to be enlightened by the announcement of Christ. That is why Pope John xxiii rightly affirmed in the encyclical “Mater et Magister” (n.193), “the ethical and religious order, more than any other material value, has a bearing on the trends and the solutions to be given to the problems of individual and collective life, within the national community and in its relationship with them”
- The proclamation of the Gospel helps to understand the historical and cultural heritage of many peoples and nations. In fact, the Gospel principles constitute an integral part of this heritage: the history, culture, civilisation of several generations, throughout the centuries, have been impregnated with Christianity and intimately intertwined with the course of the Church. This has been testified not only by the innumerable works of art that have enriched different places of the world, but also by the practices, customs and traditions which characterise the thinking and behaviour of different peoples.
- While today’s world makes communication easier, it doubts man’s capacity to know the truth, or even negates the possibility of the existence of one single Truth. Nevertheless, it simultaneously manifests in various ways a need for the Absolute, an insatiable thirst for the Truth and Certainty. The proclamation of the Gospel meets such needs and is capable of giving them complete satisfaction.
- The proclamation of the Gospel, as John Paul ii affirms in his encyclical Slavorum Apostoli (n. 18), “does not lead to an impoverishment or extinction of what every man, people and nation, every culture during the course of history recognises and realises as goodness, truth and beauty. On the contrary, it strives to assimilate and develop all these values: to live them with magnanimity and joy, and to complete them with the mysterious and exalting light of the Revelation of Christ”.
Basilica of Saint Ambrose and Saint Charles
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli