Fr. Andy had an awesome homily today. So I’m going to do my best to remember the key points here today for the blog.
How would you tell someone about Jesus?
Where would you start?
It’s a very important question for all Christians to consider. Evangelization is not a suggestion; it is a condition of discipleship. Now, evangelization can sometimes be a loaded word. It doesn’t look the same for all people, and it certainly doesn’t always look like walking down the street, knocking on doors, and asking if the resident knows Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. No, evangelization can often simply mean that we “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.” Evangelization can mean passing along our faith to our children. Evangelization can mean loving your friends and family.
But, as Pope St. Paul VI said in Evangelii Nuntiandi, “There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and they mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed” (24). In today’s first reading St. Paul points to this reality. “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” Evangelization and the Christian life are about, before anything else, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But Jesus didn’t happen in a vacuum. Jesus died for a purpose. Jesus died for a person. You. Equally important to the great story of Jesus is the great story of what Jesus has done for you. Paul goes on to say, “last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.” Jesus matters to Paul because Paul experienced Jesus. Paul goes on to talk about the experience of grace that he’s had because of His relationship with Jesus.
That is what evangelization is all about. Jesus has initiated something with you. He has reached out to you in love. He offers you His life, death, and resurrection. He wants to change you through it. He wants to recreate you into the man or woman you were created to be.
So I challenge you to learn the story. Learn and tell someone the great story of Jesus. Watch this video to learn how to do that! And then learn your story. How has Jesus affected you? How does He fit into your story… or rather, how have you fit into His?
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization