To communicate is to enter into communion with the one with whom we communicate. In communication, I reveal the content of my heart and mind before another person with the desire that the other person’s own heart and mind can grasp what is contained in mine. Anthony Akinwale from whom the words above are taken believes that “if we are to live together, Our hearts must converse with each other”. Communication for human beings is achieved through the use of language.
The Christian tradition teaches that God communicates his love to human beings whom he has created in his image and likeness. In a dialogue initiated by God himself, he “addresses man with the intention of forcing us to reply” as Ratzinger puts it. This is what is recorded in Scriptures. The man or woman who has responded to this invitation by God and entered into communion with him becomes a heralder of the Good News of God’s love made manifest in a supreme manner in the incarnation; this is what the Church calls evangelization.
Evangelization is therefore the carrying forth of the good news to every sector of the human race so that by its strength it may enter into the hearts of men and renew the human race. This necessarily involves the use of language. While Catholic theologians wonder how far human language can go in expressing Christ, God, and other worldly realities, they are however certain that valid expressions can be made about God using human language.
To achieve this, the preacher/teacher whose task is to interprete and explain the Word of God must as Dei Verbum puts it “in determining the intention of the sacred writers, attention must be paid to literary forms for the fact that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetic texts”. This means paying attention to the context, content and audience of the the original text and the context, content and audience being addressed.