A book review: How to make a mess, be a fool and evangelize the world

How to make a mess, be a fool and evangelize the world


Matthew Warner


It’s once again time to review a short Amazon Kindle book powerfully packed full of wisdom which I undoubtedly will be revisiting many times over, and I encourage you to do the same. This book is full of memorable messages and quotes from the author and Pope Francis. When I hear the word evangelize, I often get a bit uncomfortable. I picture people on street corners preaching, or passing out literature about God’s saving grace. Or maybe the person in a public place who wants to pray with me to have my sight restored. Well, after reading this book I have quite a changed view on what it means to evangelize. As we are reminded at the start of this book, being a Christian isn’t about staying in our little nice, neat circles; rather we are called to go out and share our joy, to make a mess.

As someone who tends to not like to literally get my hands dirty, this call spoke volumes to my need for ordered tendencies. We have to rearrange our perceptions of what Messes may look like. We are called to be fools for Christ. Rather than talk about how beautiful the Church is, why not show through our daily lives and actions the splendor of God’s earthly institution?

It’s one thing to dutifully show up to Mass like good Catholics, but do we live out what we are taught when we are in the public square or are around the work water cooler?

This read discusses what stops us from going out and being the hands and feet of Christ on earth. “We’re scared to let go of our need to succeed. We’re scared of not getting credit. We’re scared of not getting the honor and power that come with whatever career path we’re on. We’re scared of missing an opportunity. We’re scared of having our struggles and achievements go unacknowledged. We’re scared of not maximizing our potential and our productivity. We’re scared of being alone.”

Now is the time to examine what to do about these human fears? Will we allow them to encapsulate us, or will we set them aside for greater good?

“There were no pews or seats, only cold, wet sand. But that wasn’t going to stop three million energetic young people from celebrating Mass that day on Copacabana Beach in Brazil. “Go!” said Pope Francis. “You have been able to enjoy the wonderful experience of meeting Jesus, meeting him together with others, and you have sensed the joy of faith. But the experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community.””

Calling my fellow mess-makers: with all our imperfections, weaknesses and fears, let’s go out into the world, by the commission of our baptisms and use the gifts we have been given to bring the gospel to life and to evangelize the world!

Until next time,




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