Associations and movements

Bearing the joy of having encountered Jesus always in your heart

Prefect Farrell's words during his visit to the Shalom Community in Brazil
Prefetto Fortaleza.JPG

“Each one of you must learn how to 'be with Jesus' above all things. You must know how to find the appropriate time and way to stay in the Lord's company. Only those who have learned to ‘be with Jesus’ every day will have the strength to evangelize, because their thoughts, intentions and words will be the expression of a heart transformed through their closeness to the Lord”.

With these words, the Dicastery's Prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, addressed the Shalom Community in his homily during the Mass celebrated on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Community Evangelization Center in Fortaleza, in Brazil.

“All of you in the Shalom Community," he said, "have always enjoyed a great impetus for evangelization. So, evangelizing means announcing that the new covenant promised has been fulfilled through Christ.” “Let us always remember – he continued – as Jesus said, that ‘from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks’ (Mt 12:34).  If our heart is ‘full’ of Jesus, of His words, of His love, this is what we will say to others. If our heart is full of conceit, worldly desires, selfishness, superficiality, or even worse, recrimination, resentment, and wounded pride, then,” the Prefect explained, “useless and meaningless words or nastiness, spitefulness, and constant complaining will also come out of our mouths”. “Never forget this,” he concluded, addressing the Community members: “Authentic evangelization originates from 'being with Him,' not from pre-planned schemes! Being with Jesus, in fact, transforms the heart, and from a heart transformed by Jesus' love come words that light up people's souls with love for Him and convert even the hardest of hearts."

The following day, Saturday, Jan. 21, the Prefect delivered his homily during the Eucharistic celebration at the Community's central Diaconia, addressing above all the young people, dwelling on the words of the day's Gospel and some elements related to the calling: “The Lord also sends us some 'signs' to make us realize that a period in our life is ending and another one is beginning. And so we need to make up our minds and leave behind what belongs to the past in order to embrace the call that the Lord shows us.” In the midst of our cares and concerns, he continued, “the Lord can make His voice heard, and it must not be stifled precisely by the daily routine of our activities,” just as “the call of the first four disciples came suddenly and unexpectedly, and it came precisely amidst the busy events of life: while they were 'casting' their nets or while they were 'repairing' them.”

Peter and Andrew, the Prefect recalled, “were fishing for fish, and they were called to fish for men and women, to save so many lives from emptiness and sadness, to gather them into the nets of the Mother-Church and bring them to the luminous house of the Kingdom, so many people who were lost, unable to come out of their darkness. This is a wonderful mission that Jesus entrusts to you as well! - he added, explaining that “when the call becomes evident, when it seems obvious and addressed precisely to us, we must trust Jesus who is calling us and detach ourselves from all activities, our loved ones and securities and begin to follow Jesus on a path whose entire route is unknown from the outset, we do not know where it will lead, but it will surely be something great, which will make us happy and will be a great blessing for many other people. Dearly beloved, - the Cardinal concluded - I hope that each of you will always keep in your hearts the joy of having met Jesus and having found in Him, the 'light that shines in the darkness' and that each of you will have the courage to follow Him on the path that He Himself has shown you or will show you in the future”.

23 January 2023