Reflecting on the call to all of us to preach the Gospel.

Cardinal John’s newsletter | 19th August 2022.

Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou

Next week I will be in Rome for a few days for a Consistory for new Cardinals and then a meeting which Pope Francis has asked all Cardinals to be present at. The meeting is “ON THE ROMAN CURIA AND ITS SERVICE TO THE CHURCH IN THE WOLRD.”  Pope Francis has written a Document which we will be discussing and reflecting on called Praedicate Evangelium (“Preach the Gospel.”)

The Holy Father reminds the Curia and all of us that preaching the Gospel is the task that the Jesus entrusted to his disciples – that means all of us, not just the Roman Curia. I ask for your prayers for this meeting in Rome, but also ask you to reflect on the call to all of us to preach the Gospel. Pope Francis reminded us in his first major document Evangelii Gaudium: An evangelizing community thus gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives, it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others.”

What Pope Francis is trying to do is encourage the Romam Curia to be at his service and the service of the Church throughout the world. He is stressing that as the Curia serves the world, their first and most important task is that of evangelization. In a speech he made at the Consistory when I became a Cardinal in 2015 he said: “Reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a more convincing witness to Christ; to favor a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.”

The document we have been asked to read in preparation for this meeting reminds us that the Pope, the bishops and other ordained ministers are not the sole evangelizers in the Church. Each Christian, by virtue of baptism, is a missionary disciple; we are all called to participate in the life of the Church and to contribute to the well-being of the entire Church.

As I participate in this meeting in Rome I ask for your prayers, and I want to assure you that I will be praying for the Church in the Archdiocese of  Wellington. Pope Francis has been reminding members of the Roman Curia that their service of the church always begins with personal interior reform and conversion. He reminds us always that some of the first words of Jesus were “repent and believe the good news.”  Our service of the church, whoever we are, always begins with our own daily conversion, our own turning back to Jesus as we try “to walk his way, to tell his truth and to live his life.”

Your prayers are needed please for these days ahead.

Nāku noa. Nā