Today, after reading the Good Friday homily of Father Cantalamessa, I was deeply touched by some of his words about spreading Christ’s love or, “evangelization”. It resonates because of the sincerity and authenticity of his words: “The evangelization has a mystical origin; it is a gift that comes from the cross of Christ, from that open side, from that blood and from that water. The love of Christ, like that of the Trinity of which it is the historical manifestation, is “diffusivum sui”, it tends to expand and reach all creatures, ‘especially those most needy of thy mercy’. Christian evangelization is not a conquest, not propaganda; it is the gift of God to the world in his Son Jesus. It is to give the Head the joy of feeling life flow from his heart towards his body, to the point of vivivfying its most distant limbs.”
I contemplated this idea, evangelization is a GIFT, a gift that flows from the CROSS, from the HEART of Christ. To evangelize is to LOVE, to have known love and experienced love and to give this love. I paused, do I experience and treasure evangelization as a gift, a gift from Him, through me, to the world? He went on to say: “In Revelation, Jesus says that He stands at the door and knocks (Rev 3:20). Sometimes, as noted by our Pope Francis, he does not knock to enter, but knocks from within to go out. To reach out to the “existential suburbs of sin, suffering, injustice, religious ignorance and indifference, and of all forms of misery.” (…) Is He knocking within my heart to be able to go out? To go out “further”, to widen the boundaries I have placed on Him, to go out “deeper”, to deepen the relationships of love needed in evangelization?
Then Fr. Cantalamessa closes with this thought: “He has made us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life“(2 Cor 2:16; 3:5-6). May the Holy Spirit, in this moment in which a new time is opening for the Church, full of hope, reawaken in men who are at the window the expectancy of the message, and in the messengers the will to make it reach them, even at the cost of their life”.
Evangelization gives life and love, it is not propaganda, it is not pomp, it is selfless, it is love. It is the life, the love that comes from the HEART of the man hanging on the cross and it needs to be received and treasure as a GIFT of LOVE, a gift that comes from LOVE HIMSELF.