New evangelization is a term we hear often, and often misunderstand. "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" will be the topic of discussion at the Bishops Synod next year. A sign that we have in a few years gone from using the words 'missionary work','evangelization' to 'new evangelization' a term that more accurately reflects our present concerns.
Pope John Paul II first used the term 'new evangelization' during a visit to Poland in 1979; it has been used often since then. The Peace Weekly has written up the instruction of the Seoul diocese on the subject, making it clear that it does not mean re-evangelizing, or merely going out to those who have not heard the Good News, but is a new way of evangelizing, and what this new way might mean for Korea.
We in the Church have all been exposed to the three ways of evangelizing: the re-evangelization of those who were once members of the Church and left, the evangelization of society, and the evangelizing of those who do not yet know Christ. Pope John Paul by adding new to evangelization, the essential message of the Gospel, asks that we preach the Gospel by the example of our lives, the Gospel message changing all facets of our lives, evangelizing ourselves as we work to evangelize others.
The article goes on to ask why is this necessary? And answers that in today's world it is getting harder to preach the Gospel, and that Christians are facing new circumstances in society, which requires not only a new discernment but answers to the new questions in the light of the Gospel. In this new century, with the changing times, a new way of thinking is necessary. We as Christians have to read the signs of the times and respond in a new way.
Concluding the article is a list of pastoral proposals for the new evangelizing approach:
1) Begin with oneself
2) Follow Jesus in the way of love
3) Meet others with total sincerity
4) Have a preferential option for the poor
5) Encourage the search for justice
6) Support the culture of life and respect our environment
7) Fight against the culture of death