45. We see then that the task of evangelization
operates within the limits of language and of
circumstances. It constantly seeks to communi-
cate more effectively the truth of the Gospel in
a specific context, without renouncing the truth,
the goodness and the light which it can bring
whenever perfection is not possible. A mission-
ary heart is aware of these limits and makes itself
“weak with the weak... everything for everyone”
1 Cor
9:22). It never closes itself off, never re-
treats into its own security, never opts for rigidity
and defensiveness. It realizes that it has to grow
in its own understanding of the Gospel and in
discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it al-
ways does what good it can, even if in the pro-
cess, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.
V. A
mother with
an open heart
46. A Church which “goes forth” is a Church
whose doors are open. Going out to others in
order to reach the fringes of humanity does not
mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Of-
ten it is better simply to slow down, to put aside
our eagerness in order to see and listen to others,
to stop rushing from one thing to another and
to remain with someone who has faltered along
the way. At times we have to be like the father
of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door
open so that when the son returns, he can readily
pass through it.
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