Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Living What we Believe is Evangelization

"Those who study the teaching of Jesus and want to be his disciples receive baptism. All those who are baptized are missioners. All believers can do it and must be missioners. However, the majority feels that all that is necessary is to attend Mass and become a member of a parish religious group."

A priest, a professor of missiology interviewed by the Catholic Times, summed up his views on missionary work with the above words. To be a missioner, he added, is to speak like Jesus, to act like Jesus, and to live like Jesus. A missioner is one who wants to imitate Jesus. Most Christians, he said, see this work as belonging to others who have made a life commitment to do it. Although they have a vague idea that as Christians they are called to this life, they find it a great burden, which he feels results in many fallen-away Catholics. That the catechumenate does not make this an important element in its teaching, he said, is another crucial factor why evangelization is not properly understood.

Another reason, he noted, is that many who become Catholic do it as an expediency, a convenience, merely as a change in their way of thinking. They have little interest in the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. They do not see the importance of the faith-life and lack confidence in the teachings, so the missionary aspects of their call as disciples is bound to be missing. The first thing that is necessary, he said, is to believe with a firm faith. 

To fully understand what is meant by evangelizing, he explained, it's necessary to change how we think about missionary work.  To evangelize one-on-one or to go to the streets to proclaim Jesus is okay, but what is most important in the evangelizing process is not the word but the life of the evangelist.  When we live the Christ life we are evangelizing. In our daily lives when we relate with our neighbors in harmony with them, concerned not with my 'I' but with the "I" of each of them, then my love will express His love--that would be true evangelizing.

The logic of our faith-life will change the logic that controls the structures of society, he said, so we will then search for those who are at the margins of society and begin to do something about it.

Though it's difficult to  convey the meaning of belief to those who do not believe, their being no special way that this can be done, we can be there for those who most need our help.Evangelization is going out to everybody with love and  living this daily. Briefly, the  essence of evangelization is to live what we believe. 

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