Totally Unofficial Translation 3: “Evangelii Gaudium”

More unofficial translation of the Pope’s original Spanish version. In general, the Pope’s version is way less passive and more direct. Significant differences from the official translation are bolded.

II. “The sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing”

9. The good tends to spread itself. All authentic experience of truth and beauty searches for its expansion out from itself, and any person whatever who lives a profound liberation acquires a greater perceptiveness about the needs of everybody else. Sharing itself, the good takes root and leafs out. For that, one who wants to live with dignity and fullness has no other road than to recognize the other and search for his good. So some expressions of St. Paul must not stun us: “The love of Christ compels us,” (2 Cor. 5:14) and “Woe is me, if I do not announce the Gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16).

10. The proposal is to live at a higher standard, but not with a lesser intensity. “Life increases itself by giving itself, and weakens itself in isolation and comfort. In fact, those who possess life most are those who leave the security of the shore and get excited about the mission of spreading life to everyone else.” (4) When the Church calls Christians together to the evangelizing task, she doesn’t do more than point out the true dynamism of the personal achievement of it. “Here we discover another profound law of reality: that life reaches out and matures itself in the midst of devoting itself to give life to others. That is definitely the mission.” (5)

Consequently, the evangelizer must not wear a funeral face all the time. Let us recover and increase fervor, “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing, including those times when one must sow in tears. And if only the present world, “which searches sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope,” could receive the Good News that way — not through evangelism that’s sad and disheartening, impatient and anxious, but through ministers of the Gospel whose life radiated the fervor of those who have received Christ’s joy in themselves before anything!”

An eternal newness

11. A renewed annunciation is offered to believers as well as to the lukewarm and non-practicing: a new joy in the faith and an evangelistic fertility. In reality, its center and essence is always the same: the God Who manifested His immense Love in Christ dead and resurrected. He makes His faithful ever-new while ancient too. “He will renew their strength; they will rise up with wings like an eagle’s; they will run without tiring and walk without rest.” (Is. 40:31) Christ is the “eternal Gospel” (Rev. 14:6) and “He is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8); but His wealth and His beauty are inexhaustible. He is always young, and constantly a fountain of newness.

The Church does not stop being stunned by “the depth of God’s wealth, His wisdom, and His knowledge.” (Rom. 11:33) St. John of the Cross has said, “This dense thicket of God’s wisdom and knowledge is so profound and immense that however much more the soul may know about it, it can always enter further in.” (7) Or as St. Irenaeus affirmed well, “In His coming, He has brought all newness along with Him.” (8) He is always able to renew our life and our communion with His newness; and although dark ages and ecclesial weaknesses may get in the way, the Christian proposal never grows old. Jesus Christ can always break the boring schematics in which we presume to enclose him; and He surprises us with His constant divine creativity. Every time we try to return to the fountain and get back the original freshness of the Gospel, what wells up are new roads, creative methods, different modes of expression, more eloquent signs, words loaded with renewed meaning for the present world. In reality, all authentic action is always “new.”

13. Though indeed this mission demands a generous offering from us, it would be an error to understand it as a heroic personal task; for the work is already His before everything, far more than what we can discover and understand. Jesus is “the first and greatest evangelist.” (9) Whatever the form of evangelization, the primacy always is with God, Who wanted to call us to collaborate with Him, and to urge us on with the force of His Spirit. The true newness is what God Himself mysteriously wants to produce, what He inspires, what He brings about, what He directs and accompanies in a thousand ways. In all the life of the Church, one must always show that the initiative is God’s, that “God loved us first” (1 Jn. 4:19); and that “It is God Who makes the increase.” (1 Cor. 3:7) This conviction permits us to keep His joy in the midst of a task so demanding and challenging that it takes our lives as a whole. He asks for everything, but at the same time, He offers us everything.

13. Nor must we understand this mission’s newness as an uprooting, as an oblivion of the lively history which welcomes us and launches us further forward. Memory is a dimension of our faith which we could call “Deuteronomical,” by analogy with Israel’s memory. Jesus leaves us the Eucharist as the Church’s daily memory that He is leading us further into Easter every day. (cf. Lk. 22:19) The evangelizing joy always shines over the background of thankful memory; it is a grace which we need to ask for. The Apostles never forgot the moment at which Jesus touched their hearts: “It was around four in the afternoon.” (Jn. 1:39) Together with Jesus, memory makes “a real cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) present to us. Among them, some persons stand out who, in a special way, influenced us to make our believer’s rejoicing well up: “Remember those directing you who announced the Word of God to you all.” (Heb. 13:7) At times, one deals with simple and nearby people who initiated one into the life of the faith: “I hold present the sincerity of your faith, the faith which you had from your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.” (2 Tim. 1:5) The believer is fundamentally “full of memory.”

FOOTNOTES:

[4] FIFTH GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN BISHOPS, Aparecida Document, 29 June 2007, 360.

[5] Ibid.

[6] PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), 80: AAS 68 (1976), 75.

[7] Spiritual Canticle, 36, 10.

[8] Adversus Haereses, IV, c. 34, n. 1: PG 7, pars prior, 1083: “Omnem novitatem attulit, semetipsum afferens”.

[9] PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December 1975), 7: AAS 68 (1976), 9.

1 Comment

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One response to “Totally Unofficial Translation 3: “Evangelii Gaudium”

  1. true believers are full of sacrifice, an intensitiy of great love and good heart. it takes so much prayer to accomplish all these task. but above all is love and faith. i leave you with don moen’s “ransomed” shattalyrics.blogspot.com/2013/05/don-moen-ransomed-lyrics.html

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