Year of Consecrated Life: Living Lent with Pope Francis 5



Responding to new needs of Evangelisation

It is a central concern of Pope Francis that the Church and especially religious should not be preoccupied by themselves and their internal problems, but go out to the poor and the marginalised in society. The older we become the greater is the risk to turn around our personal problems and ailments. The greater the need to stay alert for the world around us, to try out new ways of Evangelisation and to stay focussed in prayer and action toward the coming of God’s kingdom.


I expect from you what I have asked all the members of  the Church: to come out of yourselves and go forth  to the existential peripheries. “Go into all the world”;  these were the last words which Jesus spoke to his followers and which he continues to address to us (cf. Mk 16:15). A whole world awaits us: men and women who have lost all hope, families in difficulty, abandoned children, young people without a future, the elderly, sick and abandoned, those who are rich in the world’s goods but impoverished within, men and women looking for a purpose in life, thirsting for the divine. Never lose the impulse to keep moving on the roads of the world, the conviction that moving ahead– even if it is with unstable steps and lame legs – is always better than being motionless and locked into your own problems and your own security.*


You are leaven that produces good bread for everybody, the kind of bread for which there is a great hunger: to lend an open ear to people’s needs and the desires, disappointments and hopes... As those who preceded you in your vocation, you are also able to give young people new hope, assist the elderly, open up new ways to the future, spread love in all places and situations.*


You are like antennas, sensitive to pick up fresh initiatives which are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and you can help communities of the church to acquire this vision and find new and daring ways to reach out to all.*


The missionary excitement, the joy of encountering Christ which urges you to share the beauty of faith with others, all this removes far to the danger to get caught in individualism.*


The apostolic effectiveness of consecrated life does not depend on the efficiency of its methods. It depends on the eloquence of your lives, lives which radiate the joy and beauty of living the Gospel and following Christ to the full.


Genuine faith always leads to a deep desire to change the world. We should ask ourselves some questions: Do we have the drive for great visions? Are we daring? Do we have high-flying dreams? Are we filled with fervour?*


? Where do I see new needs and opportunities for Evangelisation today? What possibilities do we have to respond to them?

? In how far are the needs of the world and of people around us part of our personal and community prayer?