Evangelii Gaudium: A Missionary Option That’s Not So Optional

What does it mean to think and live like a Church that exists to evangelize? Check out Evangelii Gaudium §27:

“I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”

Now, we usually think of “option” as being one of many choices. But Pope Francis isn’t telling us that we have a choice to be missionary sometimes, and other times choose some other, equally important, option. “Option” can also mean the act of choosing, and this is what we are called to.

I imagine this “missionary option” to be like putting on a pair of glasses with lenses that fundamentally transform the way we see our parishes. Through these lenses we view customs and routines, how we communicate, what our structures proclaim, and even the simplest decisions on “times and schedules” through the eyes of those in need of evangelization.

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