[From The Catholic Answer Bible (2002). I wrote the 44 apologetics inserts, which can be purchased by themselves for $2.99.]
In Holy Scripture, we have a record of the apostles preaching the gospel (literally, “Good News”) immediately after Pentecost. St. Peter preached the gospel in the Upper Room (Acts 2:22-40), and 3000 people became Christians upon hearing it (2:41). In this speech, “faith alone” (a notion which is often claimed to be the substance of the gospel) does not appear at all. Rather, he instructs his hearers to “repent, and be baptized . . . for the forgiveness of your sins” (2:38).
Likewise, St. Paul defines the gospel in Acts 13:16-41 as the resurrection of Jesus (13:32-33), and in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 as His death, burial, and resurrection. When Paul converted, straightaway he also got baptized, in order to have his “sins washed away” (Acts 22:12-16). From these facts we conclude that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. This is the “good news.” Catholics have always taught this, and we believe that men receive the gospel by God‟s enabling grace alone. The biblical teaching above is perfectly in accord with Catholic doctrine.
Furthermore, Catholics believe that every Mass is an instance of preaching the gospel, not only by the preached word (which takes up about half the time of the Mass), but by sacrament, in the partaking of the Eucharist, which was the primary reason the early Christians gathered together. This is indicated clearly in Acts 2:42, at the onset of the Christian Church: “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (cf. 2:43-47, 20:7, 1 Cor 10:16-17).
1 Cor 9:12-18
1 Thes 2:2-9
1 Pet 4:6,17
Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2, 35, 122-127, 153-155, 169, 179, 224, 514-515, 534, 571-573, 678, 1846, 1963, 2000-2005, 2010, 2022-2027