A few weeks ago we began our journey through the call and meaning of Evangelization. Recall that the most efficient definition for Evangelization comes to us through Pope Paul VI’s message in his letter, “Evangelization in the Modern World.” In this document Pope Paul VI states that “Evangelization means bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ into every human situation while seeking the conversion of individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself.” Therefore, Evangelization is going forth and making disciples of the whole world.
We have started our examination of the 10 simple steps to accomplish this mission of Evangelization. Last time we examined the following steps, “Be Bold”, “Extend Personal Invitations,” and “Share Life: Be with them on Their Turf.” Let us now consider these following steps.
1. SHARE YOUR STORY
Your story is powerful! If you’ve never thought about it before, consider writing down how you came to know Jesus. How did you decide to follow Him? Saint Peter tells us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15) No one can argue with what you’ve experienced, so always be ready to share when someone asks!
2. PRACTICE HOSPITALITY WHEREVER YOU ARE
You can put others at ease with simple acts of kindness, like being the first to start a conversation or introducing a newcomer to everyone else in the group. Hospitality doesn’t mean that you have to always be the one who brings the pizza — but you could invite a quiet person to take the first slice!
3. SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH A SPECIFIC INVITATION
Sharing the gospel is the heart of evangelization! There are a lot of ways to share the story of Jesus, but at its core, the gospel includes four main points: 1.) You were made for a relationship with God. 2.) Sin (those times when we choose not to love others as we should) creates a chasm between you and God. 3.) God became man in Jesus, and He died for your sins to repair your relationship with God. 4.) Every human person has the opportunity to have a relationship with God if they accept God’s invitation!
When you’re sharing these points with a person in a conversation, you can encourage your friend to accept God’s invitation using a question like, “Would you like to invite Jesus to be the center of your life?” If they say no, let them know you are still their friend and continue to pray for them. If they say yes, celebrate and pray with them!As is evident in these steps, Evangelization is about being present to others and in doing so, making the presence of Christ real in their life. Next week we will continue to look at the last two steps of Evangelization.
Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J.
PRAYER FOR FAMILIES
We bless your name, O Lord,
For sending your own incarnate Son,
To become part of a family,
So that, as he lived its life,
He would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you Lord,
To protect and watch over this family,
So that in the strength of your grace
It members may enjoy prosperity,
Possess the priceless gift of your peace,
And, as the Church alive in the home,
Bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.