The following quotes are taken from Without Him We Can Do Nothing: A Conversation about Being Missionaries in Today’s World, a book based on a long interview with Pope Francis.

On taming Jesus

[A Church that does not evangelise and is not in movement] becomes a spiritual association, a multinational that launches ethical and religious initiatives and messages. There is nothing wrong with that, but that is not the Church.

“This is the risk of any static organisation in the Church. We end up taming Christ. You no longer bear witness to what Christ does, but speak on behalf of a certain idea of Christ. An idea that you have appropriated and domesticated.

“You organise things, you become the little manager of ecclesial life, where everything happens according to an established plan, to be followed only according to instruction. But the encounter with Christ never happens. The encounter that touched your heart at the beginning doesn’t happen anymore.”

Mission is His work

“A time of persecution begins, and many disciples flee Jerusalem, going to Judea and Samaria. And there, while they are dispersed and fugitive, they begin to evangelise, though they are alone and without the Apostles who remained in Jerusalem. They are baptised, and the Holy Spirit gives them apostolic courage. There we see for the first time that baptism is enough to become evangelisers.

“That’s what mission is. Mission is His work. There’s no point in getting agitated. There’s no need for us to get organised, no need to scream, no need for gimmicks or stratagems. All we need to do is ask to be able to repeat the experience today that makes us say, ‘We have decided, the Holy Spirit and us’.”

What does it mean to evangelise?

“To evangelise means delivering Christ’s own testimony in simple and precise words, like the apostles did. But there is no need to invent persuasive discourses. The proclamation of the Gospel can even be whispered, but it always passes through the overwhelming power of the scandal of the cross. And it has always followed the path indicated in the letter of the Apostle Peter, which consists in simply ‘providing reasons’ of one’s hope to others, a hope that remains a scandal and foolishness in the eyes of the world.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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