The New Evangelization, “new in its ardor, methods and expression”, was so close to the heart of John Paul II, has found a home in my heart.
In Redemptoris Missio John Paul II says, “the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”
Pope Paul VI states in Evangelii Nuntiandi, “We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. . .”
“Evangelization will always contain
as the foundation, centre and, at the same time,
the summit of its dynamism — a clear proclamation that,
in Jesus Christ salvation is offered to all men,
as a gift of God’s grace and mercy.”
“The new evangelization,
is not a matter of merely passing on doctrine
but rather of a personal and
profound meeting with the Savior.” John Paul II
We are all included in this great work of God, as laborers in the Lord’s Heavenly Harvest, “Missionary activity is a matter for all Christians, for all dioceses, and parishes, Church institutions and associations.” J.P. II. At all times, I wish to be found at my Fathers business. Thus quenching this thirst for souls my Beloved is thirsting for. It involves drawing close to Christ, leaning upon His Breast. Learning to Image Him by growing in holiness & doing the Father’s Will.
Many people have lost their faith, their hearts have grown cold. Some need to be re-evangelized, & others evangelized, since their families never managed to pass on a vibrant faith that gives life, they never had faith that bore fruit. Faith needs to be LIVED, renewed, enlivened, fanned into flame. This needs Catechesis, teaching & living testimony of others who are Alive in Christ, who are Renewed by the Holy Spirit, Transformed by The Good News of Jesus Christ & unable to hold back the life that is within them. A Life of Witness. As Jesus taught us, “...come follow me.” We cannot give what we do not have … we must be in a radiant relationship with Jesus, in order to give life. Or watch our work be burnt up.
The world overflows with bad news, if the Good News is not presented with authenticity, as GOOD NEWS … nobody will want it. Good News brings Life, Freedom, Love, Joy & a New Spirit. If we proclaim the Gospel without Joy … the Message falls flat. Oh Cause of Our Joy, come to our aid, that we may carry Jesus our Ultimate Joy to all nations as You carried the Christ Child.
.. it is painfully clear that many Catholics (and other Christians)
have not been effectively incorporated into life in Christ.
Baptized as infants many have never made a personal commitment
to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
As adolescents and adults many drift away from the Church.
Evangelization must be directed to the Church itself. ~ John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio
What the world needs now, is a clear proclamation of Jesus Christ! The world needs to be inspired, encouraged & transformed, by faith & reason, the understanding that allows our faith to soar to the Heavens. Evangelization leads to a Civilization of Love. We need to be introduced to a profound & living relationship with Jesus, built on the Rock of Peter, closely united to the Pope & the Church that Jesus founded, formed morally, socially, & spiritually. Not merely sacramentalized but evangelized. These two need to go hand in hand!
This takes effort of a mighty team, the Church & the Laity, joining hands. John Paul II, said this in his address to the Bishops in Latin America, “. . . the bishops together with their churches [ought to be] engaged in forming and increasing the number of laity who are ready to collaborate effectively in the work of evangelization.”
The message of Jesus Christ needs to transform all aspects of life. From the courtrooms to the hospitals, to the bedroom, to Wall Street, every school & entertainment area. There must not be an area of live left that is not united to Christ, Redeemed & made new. Jesus came to make all things new. Come Holy Spirit.
“It is not possible,” John Paul II states,”to bear witness to Christ without reflecting his image, which is made alive in us by grace and the power of the Spirit.” in Redemptoris Missio. “Holiness must be called a fundamental presupposition and an irreplaceable condition of everyone in fulfilling the mission of salvation in the Church. The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission.” He also states,”the future of mission depends to a great extent on contemplation. Unless the missionary is a contemplative he cannot proclaim Christ in a credible way.” A “person of the Beatitudes (poverty, meekness, acceptance of suffering and persecution, the desire for justice and peace, charity)… the characteristic of every authentic missionary life is the inner joy that comes from faith. . . the one who proclaims the”Good News” must be a person who has found true hope in Christ. “
“Missionary activity, renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!”
“…entering a new missionary age,which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries and young Churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time.”