The conclusion of our ongoing discussion of Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
This document isn’t particularly long.
It’s not really that hard to read.
But will I remember it when I’m out in the midst of the all the work I do–in my parish, in my online circles, in my writing, and most importantly, in my family?
I’m not sure it matters if I remember the words, the phrases I’ve highlighted, the concepts I’ve learned.
What matters is the acceptance I’ve come to feel, thanks to this document, for the role my Baptism played in making me a witness (whether I knew it or not).
Through our Baptism, we become witnesses to the Gospel and disciples of Christ. As disciples and wit- nesses, we are called to ongoing conversion. To become evangelizers, we must first be evangelized. If we truly believe in the Gospel, then as a Church, we must take seriously Christ’s commandment to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
These words, in the Conclusion of the document, don’t say anything new.
The New Evangelization itself isn’t new. What’s new is US. What’s new is the WHO.
The New Evangelization challenges us to “re-propose” the Gospel to our missing brothers and sisters—those members of the Body of Christ who have drifted away from the Lord’s Table.
Let’s end with a prayer, shall we? I’m lifting it right from the end of the document, and I’m leaving you with the call to read it for yourself. Please. You deserve it!
Gracious and merciful God, we pray that through the Holy Spirit all Catholics may hear the call of the New Evangelization and seek a deeper relationship with your Son, Jesus.
We pray that the New Evangelization will renew the Church, inspiring all Catholics to “go forth and make disciples of all nations” and transform society through the power of the Gospel.
We pray for all members of the Church, that we heed the words of Christ—“do not be afraid”—and strengthened by the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage, give witness to the Gospel and share our faith with others.
We pray that we may become like the father of the prodigal son—filled with compassion for our missing brothers and sisters—and run to embrace them upon their return.
We pray that all people yearning to know Christ and the Church may encounter him through the faithful who witness to his love in their lives.
Loving God, our Father, strengthen us to become witnesses to the saving grace of your Son, Jesus, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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
- It’s about Hope
- Responding with a Touch
- Culture of Witness
- Outreach and Reaching Out
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard