"...evangelization... primarily a task-to-be-done..."

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

From Father Rosica’s homily published in Zenit today:

…section No. 22 “Evangelizers and Educators as Witnesses” of the Lineamenta (preparatory document) for the 2012 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

"The formation and concern needed to sustain those already engaged in evangelization and recruiting new forces should not be limited simply to practical preparation, albeit necessary. Instead, formation and pastoral care is predominantly to be spiritual in nature, namely, a school of faith, enlightened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and under the guidance of the Spirit, which teaches people the implications of experiencing the Fatherhood of God. People are able to evangelize only when they have been evangelized and allow themselves to be evangelized, that is, renewed spiritually through a personal encounter and lived communion with Jesus Christ. Such people have the power to transmit the faith, as St. Paul the Apostle testifies: ‘I believed, and so I spoke’ (2 Corinthians 4:13).

“The new evangelization, then, which is primarily a task-to-be-done and a spiritual challenge, is the responsibility of all Christians who are in serious pursuit of holiness. In this context and with this understanding of formation, it will be useful to dedicate space and time to considering the institutions and means available to local Churches to make baptized persons more conscious of their duty in missionary work and evangelization. For our witness to be credible, as we respond to each of these areas requiring the new evangelization, we must know how to speak in ways that are intelligible to our times and proclaim, inside these areas, the reasons for our hope which bolsters our witness (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). Such a task is not accomplished without effort, but requires attentiveness, education and concern.”

Questions for reflection…

– What priority have individual Christian communities placed on the commitment to attempt bold new ways of evangelization? What initiatives have been most successful in opening Christian communities to missionary work?

– How are our Christian communities displaying their awareness of the urgency of recruiting, forming and supporting persons to be evangelizers and educators through the witness of their lives? (Underlining above is mine)

Is anyone presently in a parish or small Christian Community that is actively doing the task? Full text of Father’s homily may be read HERE

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