At the end of mass, one of the dismissals that we are given says “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord”. If someone asked you to articulate “what is the Gospel message” - what would you say?
As Catholics, we need to be ready to share with others not only how God has moved in our own lives (which we often call our testimony), but also the story of how God has moved in the world throughout all of human history - how His plan for the redemption of the world came about.
You might hear this called the Kerygma the core Gospel message.
What is Kerygma?
In the ancient Greek/Roman world, an important announcement would be made from the king through a herald, or a “Keryx”. The herald would travel throughout the empire, and this announcement would be proclaimed exactly as the king/ruler had mandated- this message would be called a “Kerygma”. The word Kerygma literally means “to proclaim”.
Pope John Paul II, talked about Kerygma this way:
(The kerygma is] “the initial ardent proclamation by which a person is one day overwhelmed and brought to the decision to entrust himself to Jesus Christ by faith.
- CATECHESI TRADENDAE 25
Think about that for a moment. While knowing our faith is important, before we spend a lot of time learning more about our faith, it’s important that we are first “overwhelmed” by the faith.
Why is this important?
Because once we have been overwhelmed, once we have been evangelized, we can’t help but share that faith with others.