In Pope Francis’ fourth chapter, “The Social Dimension of Evangelization”, he reminds us that the heart of the gospel is life in community and engagement with others. If we receive God’s love and love God in return then it follows that we will desire, seek, and protect the good of others. The gospel is not just about a personal relationship with God, it is about the kingdom of God and that includes two important themes: the inclusion of the poor and the importance of peace.

Some questions to consider in your personal prayer: If you were to pick two themes that are fundamental to the way we live out the kingdom today, would they be the same as Pope Francis’ or different? How can we, as individuals and as a community, take seriously the call to hear the cry of the poor?

We will conclude our study after Easter with the fifth and final chapter, “Spirit-Filled Evangelizers.” To enrich your study we suggest the 2014 Lenten Lecture featuring Fr. Bryan Hehir and Fr. John Connelly together called “The Christian of Tomorrow: Doctrinal Reflection, Ethical Reflection”. A link to the lecture is available here:

Revisiting The Joy of the Gospel: Chapter 4 – “The Social Dimension of Evangelization”