We've heard the term many times, but you still may be asking, “what exactly is the “Kerygma”

The Kerygma is the New Testament word for the simple, radical, countercultural, and joyful message of the Gospel—that “initial ardent proclamation by which a person is one day overwhelmed and brought to the decision to entrust himself to Jesus Christ by faith.” 

In the Archbishop’s letter “Unleash the Gospel” he states that the “proclamation of the kerygma must precede catechesis because people are ready to receive the Church’s doctrine only after they have heard the kerygma and responded in faith. As Pope Francis has reminded us:”

The kerygma… needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal…. On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: ‘Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.’ This first proclamation is called ‘first’ not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things. It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways….

Many of you have heard the kerygma is described in terms of four essential elements:

  • Created – the loving plan of God for human beings.
  • Captured – by sin and its consequences.
  • Rescued – by God sending of his Son for our salvation.
  • Response – to repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and bring others to know Christ.

Watch Fr. John Riccardo’s explanation here.