Continuing our ongoing discussion of Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
Under the heading “Blessed John Paul II and the New Evangelization,” we find a short history lesson of the phrase that’s the topic of our discussion, “New Evangelization,” but first, a quotable I can’t help but highlight here:
Evangelization occurs most effectively when the Church engages the culture of those she evangelizes.
We’re not supposed to hide in our faith, keeping our rosary beads and practices and beliefs to ourselves. We’re to ENGAGE, interact, converse, attract.
It is far harder to engage the culture than it is just to live within it or away from it.
Now, for some history and a bit more about engaging our culture with the New Evangelization:
In 1983, he [Blessed John Paul II] addressed the Catholic bishops of Latin America in Haiti and called for a New Evangelization: “The commemoration of the half millennium of evangelization will gain its full energy if it is a commitment, not to re-evangelize but to a New Evangelization, new in its ardor, methods and expression.” This marked the first time Blessed John Paul II used the term “New Evangelization” as the theological concept of proclaiming the Gospel anew to those already evangelized. He called for new “ardor, methods and expression” of evangelization, ones that engage the present-day culture and modern man.
This includes technology, but we shouldn’t be tempted into keeping evangelization small. It’s huge: it’s all-encompassing.
It requires more of us than anything else, because the first people we see each day are the people who know us at our best–and at our worst. For me, it’s a group of children and a spouse, with other family members punctuating the week.
We don’t have to leave our houses, much of the time, to be a witness to others.
In fact, our lives are a witness to everyone we come in contact with, but are we paying attention to them? Are we focusing on how we share and live our faith in front of those who are most impacted by it?
It’s all too easy, often, for me to read what’s written and see it as something large and impossible. I’m just a mom working from home, after all. I’m so busy with what I have to do to keep the laundry done, the dishes clean, and the diapers changed. (Plus I have work on top of all that!)
How am **I** supposed to evangelize?
It’s all too easy, in fact, to shy away from this, to find excuses and reasons and hurdles.
What we’re called to do, though, is proclaim anew. Every day is an opportunity. Will we say Yes to the Holy Spirit, as Mary did? Or will we huddle in the corner of our busy worlds and leave it to someone else?
Previous posts in this series:
- Commanded to Be Witnesses
- Called to Him
- Are we welcoming?
- It’s Personal
- Show Them Jesus
- The Very Core of Our Mission
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard