Everybody can and should evangelize

Hello,

During a discussion, a friend of mine told me that he is alright with the Apostles being the Pope and the Bishops, and the nucleus of the Church founded by Christ. Then he said this.

Jesus ordained the Twelve, and to them He told to go and evanglize the nations, so why should we?

I replied you don’t need to be part of the clergy to evangelize, that your life should be a gopel to the others. Then he said well, how can you tell whether Jesus spoke to the Twelve only like ordination, and not to everybody, like evangelization?

Could you please help me clarify? I don’t find anything but to witness is to evangelize, and anyone has to. Do you have a passage of the Scripture or a Tradition which shows Jesus spoke to every Christian?

Thank you :slight_smile:

The Holy Spirit came down on everyone gathered in the upper room and then Peter addressed the crowd saying that all would do great things in the Lord’s name.

Every baptized person is a priest—not in the same way as a priest ordained by a bishop–but nonetheless a priest. A priest offers “gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. **Hebrew 5:**B]1

A baptismal priest in scripture:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship
Romans 12:1For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come.
Hebrews 13:15
Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Hebrews 13:16
To keep the law is to make many offerings,
whoever observes the commandments
sacrifices a peace offering.
By works of charity one offers find flour,
and one who gives alms presents a
sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the Lord,
and to avoid injustice is atonement.
Sirach 35:1-5
(All Scripture from the Revised New American Bible)

“For all the laity’s works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit–indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born–all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord.”
Catechism, 901

Our role to live holy is just as important as anyone else. From the time we go to mass to the time we leave it is our job to be good Catholics. You don’t have to be ordained a priest in order to be called to a job by God.

Every baptized person is a priest—not in the same way as a priest ordained by a bishop–but nonetheless a priest. A priest offers “gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. **Hebrew 5]:**B]1

A baptismal priest in scripture:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship
Romans 12:1
T
Hebrews 13:15
Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Hebrews 13:16
To keep the law is to make many offerings,
whoever observes the commandments
sacrifices a peace offering.
By works of charity one offers find flour,
and one who gives alms presents a
sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the Lord,
and to avoid injustice is atonement.
Sirach 35:1-5
(All Scripture from the Revised New American Bible)

“For all the laity’s works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit–indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born–all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord.”
Catechism, 901

Our role to live holy is just as important as anyone else. From the time we go to mass to the time we leave it is our job to be good Catholics. You don’t have to be ordained a priest in order to be called to a job by God.

Every baptized person is a priest—not in the same way as a priest ordained by a bishop–but nonetheless a priest. A priest offers “gifts and sacrifices for sins .” Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebrew 5:1

A baptismal priest in scripture:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1
Through him then let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Hebrews 13:15
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.
Hebrews 13:16
To keep the law is to make many offerings,
whoever observes the commandments
sacrifices a peace offering.
By works of charity one offers find flour,
and one who gives alms presents a
sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the Lord,
and to avoid injustice is atonement.
Sirach 35:1-5

(All Scripture from the Revised New American Bible)

“For all the laity’s works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit–indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born–all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord.”
(Catechism, 901)

Our role to live holy is just as important as anyone else. From the time we go to mass to the time we leave it is our job to be good Catholics. You don’t have to be ordained a priest in order to be called to a job by God.

Update us on how your friend responded.

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Since your friend seems to accept the authority of the bishops, the successors to the Apostles, they teach that the laity are to evangelize.

They have been evangelizers since the beginning, as the Second Vatican Council noted when re-affirming this mission of the laity:

[quote=Lumen Gentium]Incorporated in the Church through baptism, the faithful are destined by the baptismal character for the worship of the Christian religion; reborn as sons of God they must confess before men the faith which they have received from God through the Church (4*). They are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ (5*).

(4) Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 63, a. 2.

(5) Cfr. S. Cyrillus Hieros., Catech. 17, de Spiritu Sancto, II, 35-37: PG 33, 1009-1012. Nic. Cabasilas, De vita in Christo, lib. III, de utilitate chrismatis: PG 150, 569-580. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 65, a. 3 et q. 72, a. 1 et 5.

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vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

[quote=Apostolicam Actuositatem]The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church (cf. Acts 11:19-21; 18:26; Rom. 16:1-16; Phil. 4:3).

But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.(2)

They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ.

  1. The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do but also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world. The sacraments, however, especially the most holy Eucharist, communicate and nourish that charity which is the soul of the entire apostolate.(3)

One engages in the apostolate through the faith, hope, and charity which the Holy Spirit diffuses in the hearts of all members of the Church. Indeed, by the precept of charity, which is the Lord’s greatest commandment, all the faithful are impelled to promote the glory of God through the coming of His kingdom and to obtain eternal life for all men-that they may know the only true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ (cf. John 17:3). On all Christians therefore is laid the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the world.

  1. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of the Church, nos. 33 ff.: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 39 ff.; cf; also Constitution on the Liturgy, nos. 26-40; A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 107- 111; cf. Decree on Instruments of Social Communication: A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 145-158; cf. Decree on Ecumenism: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 90-107; cf. Decree on Pastoral Duties of Bishops, nos. 16, 17, 18; cf. Declaration on Christian Education, nos. 3, 5, 7; cf. Decree on Missionary Activity of Church, nos. 15, 21, 41; cf. Decree on Priestly Life and Ministry, no. 9.

  2. cf. Pius XII, allocution to cardinals, Feb. 18, 1946: A.A.S. 38 (1946) pp. 101-102; Idem., sermon to young Catholic workers, Aug. 25, 1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 843.

[/quote]

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19651118_apostolicam-actuositatem_en.html

Just to add to my previous post, this was reaffirmed by the recent synod on evangelization, as formulated in Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation:

[quote=Evangelii Gaudium]120. In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”. If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (Jn 4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So what are we waiting for?

  1. Of course, all of us are called to mature in our work as evangelizers. We want to have better training, a deepening love and a clearer witness to the Gospel. In this sense, we ought to let others be constantly evangelizing us. But this does not mean that we should postpone the evangelizing mission; rather, each of us should find ways to communicate Jesus wherever we are. All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us his closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives. In your heart you know that it is not the same to live without him; what you have come to realize, what has helped you to live and given you hope, is what you also need to communicate to others. Our falling short of perfection should be no excuse; on the contrary, mission is a constant stimulus not to remain mired in mediocrity but to continue growing. The witness of faith that each Christian is called to offer leads us to say with Saint Paul: “Not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Phil 3:12-13).
    [/quote]

w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

Sure, but he meant as the Church was found, in the beginning of it, only the bishops were told to evangelize.

In Scripture, you also see deacons evangelizing (which is why Stephen was killed) as well as non-clergy, like John the Baptist, Priscilla and Aquila and others (see the Scripture citations in the quotes in my earlier posts for examples). In addition to them, there was the Samaritan woman at the well, the man with palsy, the shepherds at the nativity, the leper Jesus healed, etc., etc. who all, after encounters with Jesus, went about spreading the word about Him.

Christ told all the disciples at the top of the mountain right before he ascended into Heaven that we are to be witnesses.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

We are to bear witness to how Jesus has affected our lives. We are to bear witness “to the ends of the earth.”

***What my life was like before I knew Jesus.
How I met Jesus
What my life is like now that I know Jesus. ***

That is Christian witness. St. Paul does it three times in Acts of the Apostles. Being Jesus’ witnesses is how we evangelize. Not doctrine, not apologetics, but witness. The fact is that if you can’t explain how Jesus has changed your life then your life probably needs to change.

-Tim-

That’s the problem. He says look he tells this to the disciples, which were the Apostles

…until the day in which, having given commandments by the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen, he was received on high; unto whom he also showed himself alive, after he had suffered, by many infallible proofs, appearing unto them for forty days and speaking to them of the kingdom of God; and gathering them together, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, Which, he said, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized in water, but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Then those that were come together asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put under his authority only. But ye shall receive the virtue of the Holy Spirit which shall come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

How to show that not only the Aposltes were present, and thus we are to evangelize as well?

Your friend clearly does not know the Bible as well as he thinks he does. The distinction between Apostle and disciple is not that clear-cut in the texts.

The word Apostle appears only eight times in all the Gospels. Matthew uses the word once, Mark once and Luke uses the word Apostle six time. The word Apostle does not appear in John’s Gospel at all…

Many times we have to discern the context, whom Jesus is speaking with, from the surrounding text. The apostles are often referred to as the twelve or the eleven (Apostles minus Judas).

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

Jesus gives the three-fold command to make disciples, to baptize, and to teach to the eleven disciples at the end of the Gospel according to Matthew. This is clearly his inner circle of followers, clearly the Apostles, but they are also called disciples.

-Tim-

Do you know that 90% of what we say does not come from our mouth?

Evangelism, is from Latin Evangelium, which is from Greek, Evangelion, which means “Good News”. Just 10% of “Evangelism” comes from words, most of it comes from actions, charity, and most importantly imitation of Christ. Production of holy spiritual fruits.

As a saint said, “Go out and spread the Gospel at all times and use words if necessary.”

I presume that your friend has sadly been scarred by the vain efforts of evangelical Protestants to attempt to spread the Gospel by “clever words”. Simply being a disciple of Christ qualifies you as an evangelist. It is impossible for a true Christian, therefore, to NOT evangelize.

I thought of this again, and Paul is the best reply :smiley: No one candeny his apostolate, and the very fact to be an apostle is held also by protestants. Well, he wasn’t there when Jesus commanded the apostles to go. He was sent by God himself, as we are, though indirectly.

Makes sense, I hope he gets this, that the apostles weren’t as closed as a group as one may think. Thank you

[quote=Godspells;12291507
]

I am sure about the call andthe need to evangelize. What he wanted is to see the mission given to all the faithful, and he tried to show me we should be passive listeners, I guess.

I will share your view as a protestant with him. Thank you :slight_smile:
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MarcoPG, I agree with you, totally. There is a lot of clever wordiness around used to uninspire taking faith to the world in all love and confidence. To have faith is to share love. As you said: 'It is impossible for a true Christian, therefore, to NOT evangelize.’ In fact, God even evangelizes through us when we don’t even know He has. We are the eyes, ears, mouths, arms and legs - the body of Christ, “to go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Well, the ‘disciples’ that he is making in these nations are us - His disciples!!!:slight_smile: He didn’t say to the apostles “go therefore and make two kinds of disciples of all the nations - you have the ones in charge who are Gold Member Disciples who are the ones that must evangelize, and you have the Silver Member Disciples who are strictly not to evangelize although all they want to do is shout: “Jesus IS”, at the tops of their voices, no, they are not to spread the Good News - this is for GMDs only. SMDs are not to share love and faith.” This is the reason God has given us a variety of holy Popes in this century and previous, who have been trying to encourage us to do what the Lord asked: to go and love God and neighbour. If I love someone I am sure as anything going to share my faith with them. What greater act of love is there?

…there are many who want to keep faith to themselves. Who rely on past teachings and won’t accept new ones or who behave as if the R.C Church is a private club for the great intellects only and try and teach others the same with their wordiness. These are the hypocrites! But Jesus specifically said to go and get all those strays instead and invite them to His feast at the banquet. If people want to argue others out of giving the opportunity to know Christ by sharing faith then let them argue with themselves because the humble meanwhile are out there waiting to be shown God’s love by all who have been shown love themselves. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have been keeping alive the spirit of evangelization for good reason.

I did not, the quote didn’t work quite right. I was quoting a previous post :wink:

In that case I should thank you for even responding. I am grateful :slight_smile:

Shame though, it fits really well as that line seems to answer itself! But true, you’re not saying what I’m saying. You do seem to have about four separate lengthy discussions going on simultaneously but if you have time to respond to mine then please do…

May I ask you simply this: if one is to remain a passive listener with no definite calling to evangelize, then why did Christ tell us to go and get people from the streets and bring them to his banquet? Also, what did Jesus mean then by losing the flavour of the salt-of-faith? Also, why did He go to a dangerous area to meet the Samaritan woman if not to show us to go out to the borders and express our faith in all terms? Why did Jesus say that if His peace is brought to a house but not received then to shake off the dust? Why did He say that His peace would cause family to argue with one another? So the beloved disciples are only priests and bishops? My other post says about Christ’s words to “make disciples of all the nations”, and as I asked: did He anywhere distinguish between two sets of disciples? Maybe then the laity shouldn’t have Bibles that way we couldn’t preach? Another thing, if the Church was founded on Peter, as in Scripture, and the Bishops all follow Peter’s example, and our Bishops and priests tell us to evangelize in word and deed, then isn’t that automatically what we should be doing in word and deed?

Please note, this is a response to your original thread’s question not your last discussion.

Thanks!:thumbsup:

Be sure that we agree on the command and need to evangelize. But the friend who I had the discussion with is a protestant, and his point was to say that Jesus told only the Apostles to go and evangelize the nations.

Honestly I don’t think that showing a protestant what Jesus did would help. Since the Son spoke as supreme Master and legislator, what he did, he could have done, but we are not, if I follow his thought, supposed to do what he did, just what he commanded us to do. So Suffer would be right, but evangelize we shouldn’t necessarily.

On your question did he make a difference between two sets of disciples: My friend’s view is that Jesus told only the Apostles to evangelize, like for us Jesus told only Peter personally some things that the others weren’t told. So in this view it doesn’t matter if Jesus set an example or had many categories of disciples, what count is what he said to whom. So only the Church as clergy should evangelize, and laity just follow, I guess.
I respectfully disagree Once again, I have my counter-idea :smiley: We just need to read Paul in Romans : PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle. Well, he wasn’t there with the Twelve when Jesus commanded them to evangelize! Did he evangelize?

And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? 7 And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do

Go thy way; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.

Funny how scripture can be clear sometimes.

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