“[The Second Vatican Council was ] an encounter marked by the power of the Spirit, who impelled the Church to emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed so as to set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey. It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces. Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel. After these decades, we again take up this missionary drive with the same power and enthusiasm.” – Pope Francis
I use the term “New Evangelization” a lot. Lately I’ve been looking at the New Evangelization much as I view the Second Vatican Council. Both Vatican II and the New Evangelization are revolutionary in nature. They both call us to aggiornamento (a bringing up to date), and challenge us to bring a new ardor to our missionary zeal. While Vatican II was revolutionary, it was also a ressourcement (a return to earlier sources). The New Evangelization is, in my opinion, also a call to return to the source of our evangelical mission. Jesus Christ is our source for the New Evangelization. His methods should be our methods.
One thing we know about how Jesus’ method for spreading the Good News is that he did not stay in one place for long. Jesus was always seeking out people with tireless enthusiasm. He met people in their homes, in the cities, in the small towns, in their workplace, and in the public meeting spaces. During this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is calling us to the same zeal and enthusiasm to meet people where they are with the Good News of Jesus Christ.