Christians need to move beyond comfort zones with apostolic zeal and a "healthy craziness", even risk becoming an annoyance as Paul did, according to Pope Francis. The Catholic News Service reports:
The church doesn't need couch-potato Catholics, it needs believers with "apostolic zeal," willing to preach the uncomfortable words of Christ, Pope Francis said. "And if we annoy people" with this zeal for Christ, then "blessed be the Lord," he said in his daily morning Mass homily May 16.
"Paul is a nuisance" in his preaching, his work and his attitude, the pope said, "because he proclaims Jesus Christ." Evangelization "makes us uncomfortable; many times our comfort zones, even Christian comfort zones, are bothered" by it, he said. God wants people to always move forward, even despite the trials and obstacles, and to not "take refuge in an easy life or in a cozy world."
Though apostolic zeal happens with love, there is "something crazy" about it, "a spiritual craziness, a healthy craziness." Apostolic zeal is not just for missionaries, it is for everyone, the pope said, and he asked that people pray to the Holy Spirit for this gift.
There are "lukewarm Christians" in the church who "don't feel like going forward," he said. "There are even couch-potato Christians, right? Those who are well-mannered, all perfect, but they don't know how to bring people to the church" with evangelization and zeal.
"Today let us ask the Holy Spirit to give this apostolic fervor to all of us and also the grace to be a nuisance to the things that are too quiet in the church" and go to the "outskirts" of life, he said.