In today’s liturgy, Pope Francis preached about the need to proclaim the Gospel with “strength and courage,” not shying away from the mandate that has been given to us at baptism but announcing the good news of the Lord with enthusiasm and confidence. The Holy Father explains:
The Word of God cannot be given as a proposal – ‘well, if you like it…’ – or like good philosophical or moral idea – ‘well, you can live this way…’ No! It’s something else. It needs to be proposed with this frankness, with this force, so that the Word penetrates, as Paul says, ‘to the bone.’ The Word of God must be proclaimed with this frankness, with this force… with courage. The person who doesn’t have courage – spiritual courage, courage of heart, who is not enamoured of Jesus, and from there comes courage! – No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God. And this is incapable, this word, of forming the people of God. Only the Word of God proclaimed with this frankness, with this courage, is capable of forming the people of God.
He went on to add that proclaiming the Gospel is a missionary activity of the church and should always be done within the context of prayer.
The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer, also. Always. Without prayer, you could have a good conference, good instruction: good, good! But it is not the Word of God. The Word of God can only come from a heart in prayer. Prayer, so that the Lord might accompany this sowing of the Word, so that the Lord might water the seed so that the Word will sprout. The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer: the prayer of the one who proclaims the Word of God.
May we not let the Gospel become just another nice idea or theory, but a reflection of a bold life lived to the fullest in a spirit of prayer and communion!