Pope Francis said the Holy Spirit is the “protagonist” of the proclamation of the Gospel, and only He can change hearts.
The pontiff said there have been some pastoral plans that “seem to be perfect,” but they were incapable of changing hearts because they were an end unto themselves.
Francis was speaking during the homily on June 11 during his Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The pope said evangelization has three fundamental dimensions: Proclamation, service and gratuitousness.
“It is not with an entrepreneurial attitude that Jesus sends us…. No, it is with the Holy Spirit. This is courage. The true courage behind evangelization is not human stubbornness. No, it is the Spirit who gives us courage and who carries you forward,” he said, according to Vatican News, the official service of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication.
Francis said that pursuing a career or success “in the Church is a sure sign that someone doesn’t know what evangelization is…for the one who commands must be the one who serves.”
“We can say good things but without service, it is not proclamation. It may seem to be, but it is not, because the Spirit not only carries you forward to proclaim the truths of the Lord and the life of the Lord, but He also brings you to the service of the brothers and sisters, even in small things,” the pope said.
“It’s awful when you find evangelizers who make others serve them and who live to be served. They are like the princes of evangelization – how awful,” he continued.
“All of us have been saved gratuitously by Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must give gratuitously,” the pope said.
“Those who carry out the pastoral work of evangelization must learn this. Their life must be gratuitous, given in service, proclamation, borne by the Spirit. Their personal poverty forces them to open themselves up to the Spirit,” he said.