The Impact of Francis on the Church:
The Command of Jesus Christ: “Preach the Gospel” clarifies not that the Church has a mission to evangelize, but that the mission to evangelize has a Church. This means that the Church is not a structure or organization (a “substance”) that performs an action (an “accident”) such as
giving doctrine, but that the Church is a Person Who is an action. As in Christ it is not possible to distinguish office and person, but the person is the office. Ratzinger writes, “with Jesus it is not possible to distinguish office and person… This differentiation simply becomes inapplicable. The person is the office, the office is the person. The two are not longer divisible. Here there is no private area reserved for an ‘I’ which remains in the back ground behind the deeds and actions and thus at some time or other can be ‘off duty;’ here there is no ‘I’ separate from the work; the ‘I’ is the work and the work is the ‘I.’”
This means that the whole self has to “preach the Gospel.” The whole self has to be Christ “for” the others. This takes mortification and work to form. It is continuous ongoing work 24/7 in the small things of every day. Everything about you has to be gift to the others, and this is the meaning of being Christ. (See Ratzinger’s “Introduction Christianity (1990) 149.