The New Evangelization is one of the key focuses of the Church in the Third Millennium. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Church and see all the great works of the Lord that are happening, especially with the emphasis on the New Evangelization and all that it entails. When you hear the word “old” it gets little attention, but in reality I wonder if the core of the New Evangelization is old. The Apostles and their successors in the first few centuries after Christ were evangelizers “par excellence”! St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Thomas, St. Andrew, St. John and all the apostles set the world ablaze by proclaiming and making manifest the Good News of Jesus Christ. Their successors – people like St. Polycarp and St. Ignatius of Antioch witnessed to the life, death and resurrection of Christ with their very lives. People saw with their very eyes the conviction they had admits the threat of death. This proclamation that was not mere lip service but also lived out even at the cost of their own lives was key to the evangelization of the people of their day.
Today, the New Evangelization must rely on that “Old Evangelization” in order to draw hearts to Christ. As you may know, St. Francis never said: “Preach the Gospel always use words is necessary”. But he did testify not only with his life but with the constant proclamation of the Good News to Christ to every town and place he went (and even to the birds).
2 Things to share with students about evangelization:
1) They are called by their Baptism to share the Good News of Jesus Christ; to tell others about who God is and what His plan for us is. Kids evangelize most successfully often times and we need to give them the tools to do this.
2) Help children see that ones actions speak something about what she/he believes. Do you choose the sports game over Mass, do you say no to watching TV because you have not prayed; do you avoid talking negatively about others because that is not loving your neighbor, etc.
What are ways you help your students to evangelize?