Continuing our ongoing discussion of Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
We’re in Part III, “The Focus of the New Evangelization.” The introduction strikes me, as I sit here typing hurriedly and consider all that’s on my list for the rest of this week:
Jesus grants all people rest and comfort from the burdens of this world. The rest and comfort of Christ comes from the hope offered by him: the hope of salvation and eternal life. The hope of salvation proclaimed in the Gospel transforms our lives with the promise of eternal life and comfort to the weary.
[T]he Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing.
Jesus Christ offers us new hope through a New Evangelization. Through the re-proposing of the Gospel, the Church seeks to comfort all those who are burdened by offering faith, hope, love, and the gift of new life in Christ.
The New Evangelization is not new, not really. Perhaps it’s a repackaging to suit modern senses. Perhaps it’s a different approach for today. But the basis of it is not new.
What it offers us is hope.
We all need hope.
I need it to slog through the mundane of my everyday. I need it to face the terror of the political climate. I need it to continue to pray about such atrocities as abortion and the trend toward euthanasia in this country. I need it to face my kids with anything less than sobbing.
The bishops continue with a call to those who are already evangelized:
The New Evangelization calls us to renew our faith so that we can share it with others. Before one can evangelize, one must be evangelized. A disciple of Christ must continually renew his or her faith. The disciple who then shares the faith is an evangelist.
When I fly with a small child, part of the pre-flight take-off instruction reminds me to put the oxygen mask over my own face first. I have to be able to breathe to take care of the person beside me, the one who can’t take care of themselves.
It’s the same with evangelization: we have to be evangelized ourselves before we can evangelize others.
And evangelization, we’re shown here, is sharing our faith.
We don’t have to start a website, print a newsletter, or harass everyone around us.
We just have to be who we are, evangelized and growing in our faith. That’s living the hope we’re called to share.
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
- Proclaiming Anew
- It’s Not New, But We Need It
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard