Evangelii nuntiandi EN
Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness, Pope Paul Vl
December 8, 1975
To the Episcopate, to the Clergy and to all the Faithful of the entire world.
Venerable brothers and dear sons and daughters: health and the apostolic blessing.
1 There is no doubt that the effort to proclaim the Gospel to the people of today, who are buoyed up by hope but at the same time often oppressed by fear and distress, is a service rendered to the Christian community and also to the whole of humanity.
For this reason the duty of confirming the brethren--a duty which with the office of being the Successor of Peter (Cf. Lc 22,32) we have received from the Lord, and which is for us a "daily preoccupation," (2Co 11,28) a program of life and action, and a fundamental commitment of our Pontificate--seems to us all the more noble and necessary when it is a matter of encouraging our brethren in their mission as evangelizers, in order that, in this time of uncertainty and confusion, they may accomplish this task with ever increasing love, zeal and joy.
2 This is precisely what we wish to do here, at the end of this Holy Year during which the Church, "striving to proclaim the Gospel to all people," (3) has had the single aim of fulfilling her duty of being the messenger of the Good News of Jesus Christ--the Good News proclaimed through two fundamental commands: "Put on the new self" (Cf. Ep 4,24 Ep 2,15 Col 3,10 Ga 3,27 Rm 13,114 2Co 5,17) and "Be reconciled to God." (2Co 5,20) We wish to do so on this tenth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, the objectives of which are definitively summed up in this single one: to make the Church of the twentieth century ever better fitted for proclaiming the Gospel to the people of the twentieth century
We wish to do so one year after the Third General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which as is well known, was devoted to evangelization; and we do so all the more willingly because it has been asked of us by the Synod Fathers themselves. In fact, at the end of that memorable Assembly, the Fathers decided to remit to the Pastor of the universal Church, with great trust and simplicity, the fruits of all their labors, stating that they awaited from him a fresh forward impulse, capable of creating within a Church still more firmly rooted in the undying power and strength of Pentecost a new period of evangelization. (6)
3. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity AGD 1: AAS 58 (1966), p. 947.
6. Cf. Paul VI, Address for the closing of the Third General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (26 October 1974): AAS 66 (19740, PP. 634-635, 637.
3 We have stressed the importance of this theme of evangelization on many occasions, well before the Synod took place. On June 22, 1973, we said to the Sacred College of Cardinals: "The conditions of the society in which we live oblige all of us therefore to revise methods, to seek by every means to study how we can bring the Christian message to modern man. For it is only in the Christian message that modern man can find the answer to his questions and the energy for his commitment of human solidarity." (7) And we added that in order to give a valid answer to the demands of the Council which call for our attention, it is absolutely necessary for us to take into account a heritage of faith that the Church has the duty of preserving in its untouchable purity, and of presenting it to the people of our time, in a way that is as understandable and persuasive as possible.
7. Paul VI, Address to the College of Cardinals (22 June 1973): AAS 65 (1973), p. 383.
4 This fidelity both to a message whose servants we are and to the people to whom we must transmit it living and intact is the central axis of evangelization. It poses three burning questions, which the 1974 Synod kept constantly in mind:
--In our day, what has happened to that hidden energy of the Good News, which is able to have a powerful effect on man's conscience?
--To what extent and in what way is that evangelical force capable of really transforming the people of this century?
--What methods should be followed in order that the power of the Gospel may have its effect?
Basically, these inquiries make explicit the fundamental question that the Church is asking herself today and which may be expressed in the following terms: after the Council and thanks to the Council, which was a time given her by God, at this turning-point of history, does the Church or does she not find herself better equipped to proclaim the Gospel and to put it into people's hearts with conviction, freedom of spirit and effectiveness?
5 We can all see the urgency of giving a loyal, humble and courageous answer to this question, and of acting accordingly.
In our "anxiety for all the Churches," (2Co 11,28) we would like to help our brethren and sons and daughters to reply to these inquiries. Our words come from the wealth of the Synod and are meant to be a meditation on evangelization. May they succeed in inviting the whole People of God assembled in the Church to make the same meditation; and may they give a fresh impulse to everyone, especially those "who are assiduous in preaching and teaching," (1Tm 5,17) so that each one of them may follow "a straight course in the message of the truth," (2Tm 2,15) and may work as a preacher of the Gospel and acquit himself perfectly of his ministry.
Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people's salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith-- faith that rests on the power of God. (Cf. 1Co 2,5) It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life.
6 The witness that the Lord gives of Himself and that Saint Luke gathered together in his Gospel--"I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God" (Lc 4,43) --without doubt has enormous consequences, for it sums up the whole mission of Jesus: "That is what I was sent to do." (Ibid. Lc 4,43) These words take on their full significance if one links them with the previous verses, in which Christ has just applied to Himself the words of the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor." (Lc 4,18; cf. Is 61,1) Going from town to town, preaching to the poorest--and frequently the most receptive--the joyful news of the fulfillment of the promises and of the Covenant offered by God is the mission for which Jesus declares that He is sent by the Father. And all the aspects of His mystery--the Incarnation itself, His miracles, His teaching, the gathering together of the disciples, the sending out of the Twelve, the cross and the resurrection, the permanence of His presence in the midst of His own--were components of His evangelizing activity.
7 During the Synod, the bishops very frequently referred to this truth: Jesus Himself, the Good News of God, (Cf. Mc 1,1; Rm 1,1-3) was the very first and the greatest evangelizer; He was so through and through: to perfection and to the point of the sacrifice of His earthly life.
To evangelize: what meaning did this imperative have for Christ? It is certainly not easy to express in a complete synthesis the meaning, the content and the modes of evangelization as Jesus conceived it and put it into practice. In any case the attempt to make such a synthesis will never end. Let it suffice for us to recall a few essential aspects.
8 As an evangelizer, Christ first of all proclaims a kingdom, the kingdom of God; and this is so important that, by comparison, everything else becomes "the rest," which is "given in addition." (Cf. Mt 6,33) Only the kingdom therefore is absolute and it makes everything else relative. The Lord will delight in describing in many ways the happiness of belonging to this kingdom (a paradoxical happiness which is made up of things that the world rejects), (Cf. Mt 5,3-12) the demands of the kingdom and its Magna Charta, (Cf. Mt 5-7) the heralds of the kingdom, (Cf. Mt 10) its mysteries, (Cf. Mt 13) its children, (Mt 18) the vigilance and fidelity demanded of whoever awaits its definitive coming. (Cf. Mt 24-25)
9 As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him. All of this is begun during the life of Christ and definitively accomplished by His death and resurrection. But it must be patiently carried on during the course of history, in order to be realized fully on the day of the final coming of Christ, whose date is known to no one except the Father. (Cf. Mt 24,36; Ac 1,7; 1Th 5,1-2)
10 This kingdom and this salvation, which are the key words of Jesus Christ's evangelization, are available to every human being as grace and mercy, and yet at the same time each individual must gain them by force--they belong to the violent, says the Lord, (Cf. Mt 11,12; Lc 16,16) through toil and suffering, through a life lived according to the Gospel, through abnegation and the cross, through the spirit of the beatitudes. But above all each individual gains them through a total interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia; it is a radical conversion, a profound change of mind and heart. (Cf. Mt 4,17)
11 Christ accomplished this proclamation of the kingdom of God through the untiring preaching of a word which, it will be said, has no equal elsewhere: "Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it." (Mc 1,27) "And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. (Lc 4,22) There has never been anybody who has spoken like him." (Jn 7,46) His words reveal the secret of God, His plan and His promise, and thereby change the heart of man and his destiny.
12 But Christ also carries out this proclamation by innumerable signs, which amaze the crowds and at the same time draw them to Him in order to see Him, listen to Him and allow themselves to be transformed by Him: the sick are cured, water is changed into wine, bread is multiplied, the dead come back to life. And among all these signs there is the one to which He attaches great importance: the humble and the poor are evangelized, become His disciples and gather together "in His name" in the great community of those who believe in Him. For this Jesus who declared, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God" (Lc 4,43) is the same Jesus of whom John the Evangelist said that He had come and was to die "to gather together in unity the scattered children of God." (Jn 11,52) Thus He accomplishes His revelation, completing it and confirming it by the entire revelation that He makes of Himself, by words and deeds, by signs and miracles, and more especially by His death, by His resurrection and by the sending of the Spirit of Truth. (31)
31. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation DV 4: AAS 58 (1966), pp. 818-819.
13 Those who sincerely accept the Good News, through the power of this acceptance and of shared faith therefore gather together in Jesus' name in order to seek together the kingdom, build it up and live it. They make up a community which is in its turn evangelizing. The command to the Twelve to go out and proclaim the Good News is also valid for all Christians, though in a different way. It is precisely for this reason that Peter calls Christians "a people set apart to sing the praises of God," (1P 2,9) those marvelous things that each one was able to hear in his own language. (Cf. Ac 2,11) Moreover, the Good News of the kingdom which is coming and which has begun is meant for all people of all times. Those who have received the Good News and who have been gathered by it into the community of salvation can and must communicate and spread it.
14 The Church knows this. She has a vivid awareness of the fact that the Savior's words, "I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God," (Lc 4,43) apply in all truth to herself: She willingly adds with St. Paul: "Not that I boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty that has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it" (1Co 9,16) It is with joy and consolation that at the end of the great Assembly of 1974 we heard these illuminating words: "We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church." (36) It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.
36. "Declaration of the Synod Fathers", 4: L'Osservatore Romano (27 October 1974), p. 6.
15 Anyone who rereads in the New Testament the origins of the Church, follows her history step by step and watches her live and act, sees that she is linked to evangelization in her most intimate being:
--The Church is born of the evangelizing activity of Jesus and the Twelve. She is the normal, desired, most immediate and most visible fruit of this activity: "Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations." (Mt 28,19) Now, "they accepted what he said and were baptized. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.... Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved." (Ac 2,41 Ac 2,47) --Having been born consequently out of being sent, the Church in her turn is sent by Jesus. The Church remains in the world when the Lord of glory returns to the Father. She remains as a sign--simultaneously obscure and luminous--of a new presence of Jesus, of His departure and of His permanent presence. She prolongs and continues Him. And it is above all His mission and His condition of being an evangelizer that she is called upon to continue. (39) For the Christian community is never closed in upon itself. The intimate life of this community--the life of listening to the Word and the apostles' teaching, charity lived in a fraternal way, the sharing of bread (Cf. Ac 2,42-46 Ac 4,32-35 Ac 5,12-16) this intimate life only acquires its full meaning when it becomes a witness, when it evokes admiration and conversion, and when it becomes the preaching and proclamation of the Good News. Thus it is the whole Church that receives the mission to evangelize, and the work of each individual member is important for the whole.
39. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church LG 8: AAS 57 (1965), p. 11; Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity AGD 5: AAS 58 (1966), pp 951-952.
--The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself. She is the community of believers, the community of hope lived and communicated, the community of brotherly love, and she needs to listen unceasingly to what she must believe, to her reasons for hoping, to the new commandment of love. She is the People of God immersed in the world, and often tempted by idols, and she always needs to hear the proclamation of the "mighty works of God" (Cf. Ac 2,11 1P 2,9) which converted her to the Lord; she always needs to be called together afresh by Him and reunited. In brief, this means that she has a constant need of being evangelized, if she wishes to retain freshness, vigor and strength in order to proclaim the Gospel. The Second Vatican Council recalled (42) and the 1974 Synod vigorously took up again this theme of the Church which is evangelized by constant conversion and renewal, in order to evangelize the world with credibility.
42. Cf. Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity AGD 5 AGD 11-12: AAS 58 (1966), pp. 951-952, 959-961.
--The Church is the depositary of the Good News to be proclaimed. The promises of the New Alliance in Jesus Christ, the teaching of the Lord and the apostles, the Word of life, the sources of grace and of God's loving kindness, the path of salvation--all these things have been entrusted to her. It is the content of the Gospel, and therefore of evangelization, that she preserves as a precious living heritage, not in order to keep it hidden but to communicate it.
--Having been sent and evangelized, the Church herself sends out evangelizers. She puts on their lips the saving Word, she explains to them the message of which she herself is the depositary, she gives them the mandate which she herself has received and she sends them out to preach. To preach not their own selves or their personal ideas, (43) but a Gospel of which neither she nor they are the absolute masters and owners, to dispose of it as they wish, but a Gospel of which they are the ministers, in order to pass it on with complete fidelity.
43. Cf. 2Co 4,5; Saint Augustine Sermo XLVI, De Pastoribus: ccl XLI, pp. 529-530.
16 There is thus a profound link between Christ, the Church and evangelization. During the period of the Church that we are living in, it is she who has the task of evangelizing. This mandate is not accomplished without her, and still less against her.
It is certainly fitting to recall this fact at a moment like the present one when it happens that not without sorrow we can hear people--whom we wish to believe are well-intentioned but who are certainly misguided in their attitude--continually claiming to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church. The absurdity of this dichotomy is clearly evident in this phrase of the Gospel: "Anyone who rejects you rejects me." (44) And how can one wish to love Christ without loving the Church, if the finest witness to Christ is that of St. Paul: "Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her"? (Ep 5,25)
44. Lc 10,16; cf. Saint Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae, 14: PL 4, 527; Saint Augustine, Enarrat. 88, Sermo, 2, 14: PL 37, 1140; Saint John Chrysostom, Hom. de capto Eutropio, 6: PG 52, 462.
17 In the Church's evangelizing activity there are of course certain elements and aspects to be specially insisted on. Some of them are so important that there will be a tendency simply to identify them with evangelization. Thus it has been possible to define evangelization in terms of proclaiming Christ to those who do not know Him, of preaching, of catechesis, of conferring Baptism and the other sacraments.
Any partial and fragmentary definition which attempts to render the reality of evangelization in all its richness, complexity and dynamism does so only at the risk of impoverishing it and even of distorting it. It is impossible to grasp the concept of evangelization unless one tries to keep in view all its essential elements.
These elements were strongly emphasized at the last Synod, and are still the subject of frequent study, as a result of the Synod's work. We rejoice in the fact that these elements basically follow the lines of those transmitted to us by the Second Vatican Council, especially in «Lumen gentium," "Gaudium et spes" and "Ad gentes."
18 For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: "Now I am making the whole of creation new." (Ap 21,5; cf. 2Co 5,17 Ga 6,15) But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism (Cf. Rm 6,4) and by lives lived according to the Gospel. (Cf. Ep 4,24-25 Col 3,9-10) The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, (Cf. Rm 1,16; 1Co 1,18 1Co 2,4) solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs.
19 Strata of humanity which are transformed: for the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation.
20 All this could he expressed in the following words: what matters is to evangelize man's culture and cultures (not in a purely decorative way, as it were, by applying a thin veneer, but in a vital way, in depth and right to their very roots), in the wide and rich sense which these terms have in Gaudium et spes, (50) always taking the person as one's starting-point and always coming back to the relationships of people among themselves and with God.
The Gospel, and therefore evangelization, are certainly not identical with culture, and they are independent in regard to all cultures. Nevertheless, the kingdom which the Gospel proclaims is lived by men who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the building up of the kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture or cultures. Though independent of cultures, the Gospel and evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them; rather they are capable of permeating them all without becoming subject to any one of them.
The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelization of culture, or more correctly of cultures. They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed.
50. Cf. 53: AAS 58 (1966), p. 1075.
21 Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness. Take a Christian or a handful of Christians who, in the midst of their own community, show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with the efforts of all for whatever is noble and good. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one. Here we have an initial act of evangelization. The above questions will ask, whether they are people to whom Christ has never been proclaimed, or baptized people who do not practice, or people who live as nominal Christians but according to principles that are in no way Christian, or people who are seeking, and not without suffering, something or someone whom they sense but cannot name. Other questions will arise, deeper and more demanding ones, questions evoked by this witness which involves presence, sharing, solidarity, and which is an essential element, and generally the first one, in evangelization." (51) All Christians are called to this witness, and in this way they can be real evangelizers. We are thinking especially of the responsibility incumbent on immigrants in the country that receives them.
51. Cf. Tertullian Apologeticum, 39: CCL, I, PP. 150-153; Minucius Felix, Octavius 9 and 31: CSLP, Turin 1963, pp. 11-13, 47-48.
22 Nevertheless this always remains insufficient, because even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if it is not explained, justified--what Peter called always having "your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have" (1P 3,15) --and made explicit by a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus. The Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed. The history of the Church, from the discourse of Peter on the morning of Pentecost onwards, has been intermingled and identified with the history of this proclamation. At every new phase of human history, the Church, constantly gripped by the desire to evangelize, has but one preoccupation: whom to send to proclaim the mystery of Jesus? In what way is this mystery to be proclaimed? How can one ensure that it will resound and reach all those who should hear it? This proclamation--kerygma, preaching or catechesis--occupies such an important place in evangelization that it has often become synonymous with it; and yet it is only one aspect of evangelization.
23 In fact the proclamation only reaches full development when it is listened to, accepted and assimilated, and when it arouses a genuine adherence in the one who has thus received it. An adherence to the truths which the Lord in His mercy has revealed; still more, an adherence to a program of life--a life henceforth transformed--which He proposes. In a word, adherence to the kingdom, that is to say, to the "new world," to the new state of things, to the new manner of being, of living, of living in community, which the Gospel inaugurates. Such an adherence, which cannot remain abstract and unincarnated, reveals itself concretely by a visible entry into a community of believers. Thus those whose life has been transformed enter a community which is itself a sign of transformation, a sign of newness of life: it is the Church, the visible sacrament of salvation. (53) Our entry into the ecclesial community will in its turn be expressed through many other signs which prolong and unfold the sign of the Church. In the dynamism of evangelization, a person who accepts the Church as the Word which saves (Cf. Rm 1,16; 1Co 1,18) normally translates it into the following sacramental acts: adherence to the Church, and acceptance of the sacraments, which manifest and support this adherence through the grace which they confer.
53.Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church LG 1 LG 9 LG 48; AAS 57 (1965), pp. 5, 12-14, 53-54; Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World GS 42 GS 45, AAS 58 (1966), pp. 1060-1061, 1065-1066; Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity AGD 1 AGD 5: AAS 58 (1966), pp. 947, 951-952.
24 Finally, the person who has been evangelized goes on to evangelize others. Here lies the test of truth, the touchstone of evangelization: it is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn.
To complete these considerations on the meaning of evangelization, a final observation must be made, one which we consider will help to clarify the reflections that follow.
Evangelization, as we have said, is a complex process made up of varied elements: the renewal of humanity, witness, explicit proclamation, inner adherence, entry into the community, acceptance of signs, apostolic initiative. These elements may appear to be contradictory, indeed mutually exclusive. In fact they are complementary and mutually enriching. Each one must always be seen in relationship with the others. The value of the last Synod was to have constantly invited us to relate these elements rather than to place them in opposition one to the other, in order to reach a full understanding of the Church's evangelizing activity.
It is this global vision which we now wish to outline, by examining the content of evangelization and the methods of evangelizing and by clarifying to whom the Gospel message is addressed and who today is responsible for it.
25 In the message which the Church proclaims there are certainly many secondary elements. Their presentation depends greatly on changing circumstances. They themselves also change. But there is the essential content, the living substance, which cannot be modified or ignored without seriously diluting the nature of evangelization itself.
26 It is not superfluous to recall the following points: to evangelize is first of all to bear witness, in a simple and direct way, to God revealed by Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, to bear witness that in His Son God has loved the world--that in His Incarnate Word He has given being to all things and has called men to eternal life. Perhaps this attestation of God will be for many people the unknown God (Cf. Ac 17,22-23) whom they adore without giving Him a name, or whom they seek by a secret call of the heart when they experience the emptiness of all idols. But it is fully evangelizing in manifesting the fact that for man the Creator is not an anonymous and remote power; He is the Father: "...that we should be called children of God; and so we are." (1Jn 3,1; cf. Rm 8,14-17) And thus we are one another's brothers and sisters in God.
27 Evangelization will also always contain--as the foundation, center, and at the same time, summit of its dynamism--a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all men, as a gift of God's grace and mercy. (57) And not an immanent salvation, meeting material or even spiritual needs, restricted to the framework of temporal existence and completely identified with temporal desires, hopes, affairs and struggles, but a salvation which exceeds all these limits in order to reach fulfillment in a communion with the one and only divine Absolute: a transcendent and eschatological salvation, which indeed has its beginning in this life but which is fulfilled in eternity.
57. Cf. Ep 2,8; Rm 1,16. Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaratio ad fidem tuendam in mysteria Incarnationis et SS. Trinitatis e quibusdam recentibus erroribus (21 February 1972): AAS 64 (1972), pp. 237-241.
28 Consequently evangelization cannot but include the prophetic proclamation of a hereafter, man's profound and definitive calling, in both continuity and discontinuity with the present situation: beyond time and history, beyond the transient reality of this world, and beyond the things of this world, of which a hidden dimension will one day be revealed--beyond man himself, whose true destiny is not restricted to his temporal aspect but will be revealed in the future life. (58) Evangelization therefore also includes the preaching of hope in the promises made by God in the new Covenant in Jesus Christ; the preaching of God's love for us and of our love for God; the preaching of brotherly love for all men--the capacity of giving and forgiving, of self-denial, of helping one's brother and sister--which, springing from the love of God, is the kernel of the Gospel; the preaching of the mystery of evil and of the active search for good. The preaching likewise--and this is always urgent--of the search for God Himself through prayer which is principally that of adoration and thanksgiving, but also through communion with the visible sign of the encounter with God which is the Church of Jesus Christ; and this communion in its turn is expressed by the application of those other signs of Christ living and acting in the Church which are the sacraments. To live the sacraments in this way, bringing their celebration to a true fullness, is not, as some would claim, to impede or to accept a distortion of evangelization: it is rather to complete it. For in its totality, evangelization--over and above the preaching of a message--consists in the implantation of the Church, which does not exist without the driving force which is the sacramental life culminating in the Eucharist. (59)
58. Cf. 1Jn 3,2; Rm 8,29; Ph 3,20-21. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church LG 48-51: AAS 57 (1965), pp. 53-58.
59. Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaratio circa Catholicam Doctrinam de Ecclesia contra nonnullos errores hodiernos tuendam (24 June 1973): AAS 65 (1973), pp. 396-408.
Evangelii nuntiandi EN