Totally Unofficial Translation 5: Evangelii Gaudium

More literal translation. Parts significantly different from the official translation are bolded.

Chapter 1: The Missionary Transformation of the Church

19. Evangelization obeys Jesus’ missionary mandate: “Go, you all, and make all the peoples be My disciples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you all.” (Mt. 28:19-20) In these verses, the moment is presented at which the Resurrected One sends those who are His own to preach the Gospel in all times and throughout all regions, in such a way that faith in Him might diffuse itself into every corner of the earth.

I. A Church on an outward-bound journey

20. In the Word of God, this dynamism of “going out” that God wants to make happen in the believers appears constantly. Abraham accepted the call to go out to a new land (cf. Gen. 12:1-3). Moses listened to God’s call, “Go, I send you” (Ex. 3:10); and he took the people out to the Land of the Promise (cf. Ex. 3:17). To Jeremiah, He said this: “You shall go wherever I will send you.” (Jer. 1:7) Today, in this “Go, you all,” of Jesus, there are present the ever-new stage sets and challenges of the Church’s evangelizing mission, and all are called to this new missionary journey “going out.” Each Christian and each community will discern which road the Lord asks of him, but all are invited to accept this call: to go out from one’s own comfort, and to dare to reach all those places, on the periphery of things, that need the light of the Gospel.

21. The joy of the Gospel that fills the life of the community of the disciples is a missionary joy. The seventy-two disciples who return from the mission full of rejoicing (cf. Lk. 10:17) experience it. Jesus, Who trembles with rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, and praises the Father because His revelation reaches the poor and the little ones, lives it (cf. 10:21). The first ones who converted on listening to the Apostles preaching “each one in his own tongue” (Acts 2:6) on Pentecost feel full of wonder. That joy is a sign of how the Gospel has been announced and is giving fruit. But always there is the dynamic of an exodus and of a gift, of going out from oneself, of walking down a road, and of sowing, always anew, always further on out. The Lord says, “Let us go to another region, to preach to the neighboring populations also, because it is for this that I have gone out.” (Mk. 1:38) When He has sown the seed in one place, then He does not linger to explain better or to do more signs there; but instead, the Spirit moves Him to go out to other towns.

22. The Word holds within itself a potentiality that we cannot predict. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, also grows by itself when the farmer sleeps (cf. Mk. 4:26-29). The Church must accept that unmoorable liberty of the Word, which is efficacious in its own manner, and in very diverse forms which are accustomed to surpass our foreseeings and break our schematics.

23. The intimacy of the Church with Jesus is an itinerant intimacy, and the communion “essentially configures itself as a missionary communion.” (20) Faithful to the Master’s model, it is vital that today the Church goes out to announce the Gospel to all people in all places, without delay, without disgust, and without fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all the people; it cannot exclude anyone. As the angel announces it to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “Fear not, for I bring to you all the Good News, a great joy for all the people.” (Lk. 2:10) The Book of Revelation refers to “one Good News, the eternal one, the one which must be announced to all the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation, family, tongue, and people.” (Rev. 14:6)

To grab the initiative, to get oneself involved, to accompany, to bear fruit, and to hold a fiesta.

24. The outward-bound Church is the community of missionary disciples who grab the initiative, who get themselves involved, who accompany, who bear fruit, and who hold a fiesta.

“Primerear” — “To aggressively grab the initiative and not let it go” — you should all excuse the neologism. The evangelizing community experiences how the Lord took the initiative; He has grabbed the initiative in His love for her (cf. 1 Jn. 4:10); and from that, she knows to go forward, to take the initiative without fear, to go out to the meeting, to search for those far off, and to go out to the crossroads to invite the excluded. She lives an inexhaustible desire of proffering mercy, the fruit of having experienced the Father’s infinite mercy and its diffusive force.

Let’s dare to grab the initiative a little more!

Consequently, the Church knows how to get herself involved. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. The Lord involved Himself, and involved those who were His own, putting Himself on His knees in front of everyone else, in order to wash their feet. But then He says to the disciples, “You will be blessed if you do this.” (Jn. 13:17) The evangelizing community enters into the daily life of everybody else by works and gestures; she diminishes distances; she lowers itself to the point of humiliation, if necessary; or she takes on human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in the people. So the evangelizers have “the smell of the sheep,” and these sheep hear His voice.

Then the evangelizing community prepares herself to accompany. She accompanies humanity in all its trials, throughout whatever harder or more prolonged trials that there may be. She knows about long waits and apostolic putting up with suffering. Evangelization has much of patience, and shuns abusing one’s limits.

Faithful to the Lord’s gift, she also knows how to bear fruit. The evangelizing community always is attentive to her fruits, because the Lord wants her to be fecund. She cares for the wheat and she doesn’t lose her peace over the tares. When he sees the tares shooting up in the midst of the wheat, the sower does not have whiny or alarmist reactions. One finds the way that the Word might incarnate Himself in a particular situation and might give fruits of new life, even though in appearance the fruits might be imperfect or unfinished. The disciple knows how to give his whole life, and to gamble it to the point of martyrdom, as a testimony about Jesus Christ; but his dream is not to get himself plenty of enemies, but that the Word would be welcomed and would manifest its liberating and renewing potency.

Finally, the evangelizing, rejoicing community always knows how “to hold a fiesta”. She celebrates and holds a fiesta for every little victory, every step forward into evangelization. The rejoicing evangelization turns herself into a beauty in the liturgy, in the midst of the daily demand of spreading the good. The Church evangelizes, and evangelizes herself, with the liturgy’s beauty, which also is a celebration of the evangelizing activity, and a fountain of a renewed donative impulse.


[20] JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 32: AAS 81 (1989) 451.


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