Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Evangelization for the transmission of Faith

Jesus said to his disciples  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in name of the father son and the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”

These compelling last words of Jesus must shake us out of the comfy sofas. This is a matter of urgency. Do we heed this urgent call?

The Church exists to evangelize. All Christians without an exception are called to evangelize.

The challenge of time is to make “faith” relevant to a highly secularized society that is desperately attempting to de-Christianize the world. And also re awaken those Baptized Catholics who lost their flavor and are living merely as Sunday Christians.

Our beloved Pope Francis, during the World Youth Day at Rio, challenged the youth to courageously proclaim the Gospel with their life and word. He asked them to be missionaries. He reminded them that it is not an option but mandatory.

Do we heed this urgent call?

As we know, many great nations of the modern world were built on Christian values and principles. 1700 years of Christendom is collapsing before our eyes rapidly and radically. It has been the major influence on the law, the culture and educational systems of the western nations. But no more.

We are witnessing a godless generation characterized by public mockery of God and flaunting of immorality almost like a new religion.

Sadly but rightly so, our Catholic Church is called a sleeping Giant. The time is “now” that we reawaken the Catholics to rediscover their friendship with Jesus. Reawaken Catholics to discover What it means to be a Catholic. And what it means to be Christians.

It was blessed pope John Paul (who would soon be canonized) first proposed the term “new evangelization”.

What is new evangelization?. According to JP2, The new evangelization must is:

New in enthusiasm
New in expression and
New in methods

The Gospel message is the same but the method ought to be new. We must utilize technology to effectively communicate.

We must take the message of the Gospel to the streets. Gone are times when people came to churches own their own. The Church of today like the Good shepherd must set out into the streets, malls, pubs, corporates, cricket stadiums, where ever people are, seeking out the lost with compassion and love. We must take the gospel forgiveness and new life to this generation that is clue less. We must make the Good news of Jesus relevant this generation.

The world is living in deception. Devil the father of lies has connived with men who lust after money, fame and pleasure and has made a pact to deceive the innocent. If we the people who have been shown the light do not march out into the darkness how can we be called the followers of the savior who came to seek out the lost.

Jesus said “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”

How can I do my part in New evangelization? How can I be an evangelist?.

In order to be an effective New evangelist, first and foremost I should have a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. To evangelize is not to share my head knowledge. But to share a relationship. You cannot share what you don’t have.

In our Churches, we never emphasize enough on the need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. The sacraments and liturgy will come alive only when one experiences the love of Jesus in a personal way. Woe to us if we are content with only the outward show of piety and compliance.

Secondly, I should be excited about the message of the Gospel, the fullness of life in Jesus, forgiveness of sin, the abundant life in Jesus. I should be someone who is excited and looking forward to spend eternity with God.

I should know the world and the culture. I should be aware of the threats posed by the secularized world on basic Gospel values.

As a new evangelist, I should be proud of the Catholic Church and its traditions. I should love the saints and want to be like them.

I should be a missionary at heart. I should be passionate for souls. There are many in the world that is lost, because they have lost contact with God their creator.  It is our Christian duty to reach out to them. It is the right of every human to be told about “salvation”.

Finally, I have got to know and use the new media. Our generation has grown up with computers, smart phones and tablets. So use them. Don’t be afraid of technology.

The only medicine for the aching world is Jesus. Let our facebook posts and tweets be edifying and liberating. Let your PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and smart phones be transformed into instruments of peace and liberation. Let us use technology to help the ailing humanity. Let us do our bit to save the world from selfishness. Let us be the proponents of the new evangelization the Church is calling us to be.

You might ask what difference I can make alone. As mother Teresa once said, So many tiny drops make the ocean If I don’t contribute my one-drop, the ocean will be less by that one drop. Do not be discouraged, God is counting on you, so is the world.

If you are clueless how to start, go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Tell Him that you are ready but do not know how to do it. Jesus will anoint you with Holy Spirit and speak to you in your ears the way forward. This works! Because our God is a living God. He hears and he speaks. Hallelujah!!!