The timeliness of the proclamation

From both Scripture and Tradition, we can see that the path of the new evangelization has been marked out: we are called to renew the proclamation of Jesus Christ, of the mystery of his death and resurrection to stimulate people once more to have faith in him by means of conversion of life. If our eyes were still capable of seeing into the depths of the events which mark the lives of our contemporaries, it would be easy to show how much this message still holds a place of special importance. Therefore, we need to direct our reflection towards the meaning of life and death, and of life beyond death; to face such questions, those affecting people’s existence and determining their personal identity, Jesus Christ cannot be an outsider. If the proclamation of the new evangelization does not find its power in the element of mystery which surrounds life and which relates us to the infinite mystery of the God of Jesus Christ, it will not be capable of the effectiveness required to elicit the response of faith. From this point of view, Gaudium et spes indicates a path which deserves to be pursued: “In fact, only in the mystery of the Word incarnate can the mystery of man find true light … Christ, who is the new Adam, revealing the mystery of the Father and of his love, reveals man fully to himself and manifests to him his most exalted vocation… Through the Incarnation, the Son of God united himself in a certain sense to every human being. He worked with human hands, thought with human intelligence, acted with a human will and loved with a human heart. Being born of the Virgin Mary, he made himself truly one of us, like us in all things but sin. The innocent lamb, freely shedding his blood, he earned for us eternal life; in him God has reconciled us to himself and with one another and he has torn us away from slavery to the devil and to sin, such that each one of us can say, along with the apostle: the Son of God ‘has loved me and sacrificed himself for me’ (Gal 2:20). By suffering for us, he has not only given us an example that we might follow in his steps, but he has also opened up for us the way we are to go; if we follow it, life and death will be sanctified and will be given new meaning” (GS, no. 22). In the light of this text which, in some respects delineates a new anthropology for our age, within the primacy of the mystery, new horizons are opened up for the pastoral action of the Church. An initial path is that of the constant search for the face of God and, it is precisely this very quest that the Year of Faith seeks to inspire in the hearts and minds of all.

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