MOSAIC Spring 2014 - Page 15

All hearers of the gospel make the decision, within the scope of their free will, as to whether or not to accept the truth that Jesus offers to each of us. The kerygma, however, as Pope Francis points out, has a social dimension: “The kerygma has a clear social content: at the very heart of the Gospel is life in community and engagement with others. The content of the first proclamation has an immediate moral implication centered on charity” (no. 177). We may accept the kerygma as individuals, but we cannot possibly “live out” the kerygma without recognizing the communal dimension within which our “yes” places us. When we choose to receive the gift of God’s love, we must recognize the undeniable connection between the divine love we enjoy and “genuine fraternal love” (no. 179). Francis dramatizes this point by explaining that “our brothers and sisters are the prolongation of the incarnation for each of us” (no. 179). According to Francis, there is a “profound connection” between our missionary work and human advancement. Our acceptance of the kerygma requires that we love God “in return,” which becomes concrete in what he describes as our primary response “to desire, seek and protect the good of others