ARTICLE – Embracing the Call to Evangelize

Evangelization lies at the heart of our Christian faith and practice. Jesus calls us to spread the Good News to all corners of the world. Evangelization encompasses bringing individuals to know the Word of God, participate in worship, receive the sacraments, and work towards leading others to a personal encounter with Christ through both actions and words.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commissions his disciples, saying, “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” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, emphasizes the power of the Word of God in bringing salvation: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Evangelization aims to bring people to the transformative message of the Gospel, leading them to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

The Magisterium echoes the call to evangelize. Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” states, “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize” (EN 14). This document emphasizes that the Church’s mission is to proclaim the Gospel, bring people to Christ, and nurture their faith.

Furthermore, the Magisterium highlights the significance of worship and the Eucharist in the life of believers. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324). Evangelization should not only lead individuals to the Word of God but also foster their participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, where they encounter the real presence of Christ.

Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” emphasizes the call for all Christians to engage in evangelization actively. He states, “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. (…) Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus” (EG 120). The joy of encountering Christ should propel believers to share this love and salvation with others, bringing them into a relationship with the Saviour.

In conclusion, let us embrace the call to evangelize with fervor and conviction. Our faith and love for Jesus compels us to share the Good News and extend His love and salvation to all people. May we actively engage in spreading the message of hope, inviting others to know the Word of God, experience the richness of worship, receive the sacraments, and encounter the transformative power of Christ. Through our deeds and words, let us be bold witnesses of His grace and mercy, reaching out to the corners of the world and bringing others into a life-changing relationship with our Lord.

Pierre-Alain Giffard

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