Monday, December 24, 2007

B16: Go, Tell it On the Mountain

At yesterday's Angelus, the Pope put up a "Help Wanted" sign for Christmas messengers:
The evangelizing mission of the Church is the answer to the cry "Come, Lord Jesus," which runs through the whole of salvation history and which continually goes up from the lips of believers. "Come, Lord, to transform our hearts so that justice and peace are spread throughout the world." This is meant to bring to mind the doctrinal note on some aspects of evangelization just published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The document proposes, in effect, to remind all Christians -- in a situation in which the reason for being itself of evangelization is often no longer clear -- that the welcoming itself of the glad tidings of the faith moves us to communicate the salvation received as a gift.

In fact, the truth that saves life, that became flesh in Jesus, ignites in those who receive it a love of neighbor that moves our freedom to give as a gift that which has been freely received. Being reached by the presence of God, who draws near to us at Christmas, is an inestimable gift, a gift that is capable of making us live in the universal embrace of the friends of God, in that network of friendship with Christ that binds heaven and earth, that directs human freedom toward its fulfillment and that, if lived in its truth, flourishes in a gratuitous love and a concern for the good of all people.

Nothing is more beautiful, urgent and important than freely giving to people what we have freely received from God. Nothing can exempt or discharge us from this fascinating duty. The joy of Christmas of which we already have a foretaste, as we are filled with hope, moves us at the same time to proclaim to all the presence of God in our midst.

Mary is the incomparable model of evangelization, she who did not communicate an idea to the world but rather Jesus, the incarnate Word. Let us invoke her with confidence so that also the Church in our time proclaims Christ the Savior. Every Christian and every community feels the joy of sharing with others the good news that God so loved the world to give his only begotten Son so that the world might be saved through him. This is the authentic meaning of Christmas, that we must always rediscover and live intensely.
PHOTO: Reuters/Max Rossi