The Word of God

42. We must ourselves be evangelized before we set about evangelizing others; first we must listen to the Word, then proclaim it to others . This is what we see in Mary: before going into the hill country to bring the good news of the Messiah she listened with attention and accepted in faith the heavenly message.

43. The experience of God is at the very root of the mission; without it the mission is a merely human undertaking. Evangelization is real only if it is consequent to a faith that takes hold of one’s whole being. The person who is open to being evangelized is aware of a spontaneous urge to evangelize others and to share the joy of what one has discovered (see Lk 15, 6.9). For this reason evangelization is more the fruit of enthusiasm than organization, more the work of God’s Spirit than of human enterprise. Only in this way can positive effects be hoped for. “The world … is crying for evangelizers who speak of the God they know and who is familiar to them, as if they saw the invisible (EN 76f).” Communities of Servants must consequently begin by evangelizing themselves, constantly deepening their faith experience and rediscovering again and again the wonders the Lord works everywhere (see EN 15d).

44. We want therefore to pay more attention to the Lectio divina in our communities: a serious and shared reading of the Scriptures that takes into account the concrete reality of our life and of our people . It will be a time of mutual evangelization, a time when the members, as if involved in a kind of pious contest, compete in edifying
one another, as we read in the comforting words of the Letter to the Hebrews: “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near” (10, 24-25)

45. As our Constitutions dictate, we will gather. “with the people, if possible” for the celebration of the liturgy (see art. 24a; also art. 80 & 81). The involvement of the ecclesial community will offer striking witness to the truth that we all, religious and laity, form one body, the Body of Christ in the midst of the world.

Questions for community reflection
I . How can God be experienced? Try to share fraternally a word about the way you have experienced and continue to experience God in your life.
2. What room is there for the Word of God in our personal and community life? How can the Word of God be made more striking and enlightening for the people of God?
3. To what extent is the ecclesial community involved in the liturgical celebrations of our community?