I’m late, by at least two months, getting to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s speech from February about New Evangelization.
If you haven’t already, do read it all.
In the first mention of New Evangelization, Dolan, who already had my attention, grabbed it even deeper:
The New Evangelization became the dare to apply the invitation of Jesus to conversion of heart not only ad extra but ad intra, to believers and cultures where the salt of the gospel had lost its tang. Thus, the missio is not only to New Guinea but to New York. [emphasis mine]
The New Evangelization is a dare? I can’t help but think back to the games of Truth or Dare I played in my younger, wilder days, and it certainly gives this work we’re all out to accomplish a different feel.
If it’s a dare, then there’s risk. Possibly a lot of risk.
What does it mean for me to accept a dare to participate in the New Evangelization? How does that change my frame of thought, my approach, my attitude?
Dolan goes on to detail seven planks of the New Evangelization, and they made me stop and think in a whole new way about New Evangelization.
My favorite is one I need to be reminded of often:
The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown.
How easy it is to be the one preaching and lecturing (and frowning) about all that’s wrong! How effortless to yell and rail (and frown) as I catechize! How simple to focus on the negative (with a frown on my face and in my heart) and decry humanity!
The New Evangelization isn’t always going to be fun (nothing is). It won’t always be easy (if ever). That shouldn’t stop us from remembering that what we’re sharing is the Good News.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard