Monday, August 15, 2016

The New Evangelization

I am quickly learning from talking to others that the word evangelization can have a negative connotation for Catholics.  I believe that stems from a stigma associated with the word and a misapplication of its meaning relative to the mission of the Church.

Let's start with what evangelization is not. It is not a specific approach to preaching the gospel that invites or requires one to aggressively push the tenants of the faith on another.  Evangelization always respects the dignity of others while being willing to express the truth.  As the popes say, we should not impose the faith on others, but propose it.  One always has the freedom to accept or reject it due to free will.

That being said, the mission of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel.  There are many people who have not yet heard the Good News that Jesus came in the flesh, as the Son of God, and died to save ALL.  He did not come for just a few people.  Not for a certain population of people.  Not for those who are by all outwardly appearances good; he came for those of us who make terrible mistakes, allow poor judgment to lead us to bad decisions, or who have become lazy Christians!

Evangelization, in the missionary spirit of the Church, is a work of joy!  It is the Christian's ability to speak genuinely about their relationship with Jesus and the impact of the Word of God and the sacraments on their life! It is one's cooperation with the Holy Spirit, the "agent" of the New Evangelization.

We do not have to be bible scholars or theologians, but a healthy foundation of knowledge, and a desire to grow in faith, does give us the beginnings for evangelization.

If the joy of our faith is attractive, our willingness to share it will produce great fruit!

May God bless you and strengthen your discipleship in His name!


No comments:

Post a Comment