For two thousand years, the Church has been proclaiming the Good News. Billions of souls have been converted by the power of the Gospel and have come to faith in Christ. Saints innumerable have lived and died as witnesses to this truth: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
Yet the Church today, especially in the developed world, struggles to proclaim the Gospel. Why? Why does it seem that, at least in some parts of the world, the Church has stalled out in her mission to evangelize?
One partial explanation, I think, is that the Church does proclaim the Gospel, but our materialistic age has been inoculated against receiving it. It is hard to proclaim salvation to a world enamored of the idea that it can save itself. And the illusion of control is an age-old temptation.
A related challenge is the mistaken notion that the salvation offered by the Church is a worldly salvation. When the Church’s works of justice – her care for the poor and sick, her solicitude for the broken and marginalized, the entirety of her social doctrine – are separated from the proclamation of Christ’s own suffering, death, and resurrection, bad things happen. Christianity gets reduced to a kind of social activism (or a prosperity Gospel) and the Church’s message of salvation becomes obscured by what Pope Francis calls a “demonic worldliness.”
When it comes to the role of the laity in the church, this worldliness presents a particular challenge.
Read more at The Catholic Thing