Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Evangelisation

We hear a great deal about the new evangelisation and there are various exciting initiatives going on. I thought I'd share a few of my own thoughts on it. I've actually been changed quite considerably in the last couple of years as I've come to realise two things. The first was that although in theory I accepted that it was primarily the work of the Spirit rather than my own, I hadn't really fully taken this in. I wanted to see results and was disappointed with the lack of them. This was when I came to my second realisation: that Jesus is actually very inefficient in his means of evangelisation. The risen Jesus is present everywhere, but only reveals Himself to a chosen few. He doesn't go to the Temple and say "look, you crucified me and here I am, risen from the dead".

In his humility Jesus only shows himself to a few friends. Jesus spreads His message only through testimony. He has changed my heart and now I must spread that message to others. Evangelisation obviously also entails deepening the faith of those who already believe, but I'm thinking here of primary evangelisation of those who have no faith. This is an ever-expanding group in England. Last year I ran days for primary schools to come to our Church to learn a bit about Christianity. For many it was the first time they'd ever been to a Church.

I'm increasingly convinced that forming relationships is the key. Once I have formed a relationship of trust with someone, and they know that I am genuine in my faith, they can perhaps start to be drawn to it. There are fruits - a friend who will be baptised at easter, an email from someone I met saying that her "understanding of Christianity feels a little deeper and more rewarding". Often, though there's no sign at all, but this no longer discourages me. I've learnt to trust that God will do the evangelising and that the fruits come from Him working through me, not from anything that I do or say of myself. My joy is complete.


KT said...

This is an awesome post. I too often judge Evangelization on my part to be inadequate. I have learned the personal satisfaction from immediate results is generally not the way of the Holy Spirit. We all Evangelize in our own way with the gifts we are given.

Thank you for your post.

Fr Julian Green said...

This is great stuff. I'm so glad to read of seminarians realising the urgency of the call to arms...ie the New Evangelisation. And the greatest weapon in the armoury of evangelisation is friendship. You're spot on there. Keep up the good work on the blog.

Father John Trigilio said...

FORZA! Great blog and great mission. May Christ the High Priest and His Holy Mother, Queen of the Clergy and Mother of All Priests, bless each and every one of you and help you PERSEVERE in your vocation.

John Paul said...

This is an excellent blog, and wonderful to see other seminarians committed in this way to the new evangelisation and as Fr Julian said "realising the urgecy and call to arms" its so important. Wish we had guys like this in my seminary...

God bless JP.