When we talk about envangelization we often think of proclaiming the Good News to others by what we say. The quote I posted yesterday by Pope Paul VI expanded on the idea of what it means to evangelize when he said… “to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.”
The preaching and teaching aspect of evangelization is vital and key, but also being a channel of the gift of grace through your compassion to others, your kindness and thoughtfulness in other peoples lives is truly being evangelical and communicating the good news. Also, catechists and the laity are a part of that mission to reconcile sinners with God by pointing them to God, by encouraging our fellow Catholics to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, by helping others see that Jesus is the remedy to our sin problem – we can’t avoid sin or pretend that sin is not really that big of a deal or as many seem to say “at least not my sins”. Being an instrument to drawing others to be reconciled with Christ is at the heart of evangelizing. Pope Paul VI goes on to mention perpetuating Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass. When we invite others to participate in the Mass, the source and summit of our faith they encounter the good news Himself in the Eucharist. Also, to help others see that Christ’s Sacrifice is at the heart of who we are as believers and without it we can not be united to Christ. The Cross is a part of the good news not something to be avoided or to distance oneself from.
That is why I liked the quote by Pope Paul VI so much. Evangelization is proclaiming the Good News by word and by deed. The Church’s identity is to live this good news and make it tangible to those we meet – our students, our friends, family and strangers.