Continuing our ongoing discussion of Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
We’ve made it to page 3, and here we have one of my favorite parts of this document.
The New Evangelization is a call to each person to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel. It is a personal encounter with the person of Jesus, which brings peace and joy. The New Evangelization provides the lens through which people experience the Church and world around them.
When I entered the Catholic Church in 2001, I refused to do any extra reading. It’s not that I wasn’t interested. It’s that I figured that if the Church was so good and so right, it could convince me all on its own.
I shake my head at myself now, but the fact remains that my ego was really that huge.
And you know what? Here I am.
In this definition of the New Evangelization, I can’t help but see enthusiasm seeping around the words. Right now, our parish is in the midst of Confirmation Boot Camp, and somehow, I’m lucky enough to be part of the catechist team.
Looking at the 18 faces of the 8th graders who will be confirmed in a few months, I can’t help but recall how very often my personal encounter with the person of Jesus involves unexpected people, unpredicted circumstances, and blessings.
Right after this passage, there’s this:
The New Evangelization invites people to experience God’s love and mercy through the sacraments, especially through the Eucharist and Penance and Reconciliation.
I find myself pretty passionate about these two sacraments, and it’s because of the healing I’ve experienced and continue to experience. I find Jesus as a person when I’m at Mass and when I’m struggling with handing over the burden of my sin in Reconciliation.
When I share my passion, especially with these Confirmation kids, sometimes I imagine that I can see the seeds being planted. “What makes her so passionate, so invested?” their faces say to me. “She seems normal enough, until we start talking Real Presence and Confession Sins and stuff.”
Maybe New Evangelization is being comfortable enough to trust others with the vulnerability of our passion and love for the Eucharist and sacraments. Maybe New Evangelization is sharing just how personal it is, and letting it be personal for everyone else, too.
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Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard