We were challenged to consider Pope Francis’ “Evangelii Gaudium” in the context of the Five W’s of Welcome, Word, Worship, Welfare and Witness.
The Bishop drew attention to St Benedict’s Rule which commends ‘lectio devina’ – the “chewing over” of bite-size passages from, say, St Mark’s Gospel or Isaiah, as a staple element in our daily diet.
Beginning with our need to LISTEN TO as well as merely HEAR ‘The Word of the Lord’, he stressed the centrality of Worship as an essential ingredient in our lives as individual Christians and as the Christian Community.
He highlighted the value of the Ministry of Welcome which can enrich our lives in surprising ways and open us to opportunities of Welfare and Witness.
All that the Bishop spoke of in his opening Address and in his full responses to some challenging questions was encapsulated in the phrase which he wants us all to remember and to live up to as we “go out and proclaim the Gospel”: ‘The Authority of the Church is the Authority of Service’.
— Richard Stranack