The call to evangelization is core to our commission given by Jesus and confirmed through our Catholic commitment. What’s the difference between “evangelization” and “evangelism”, and what can evangelization look like in our lives when not all of us have a gift or call to stand on the streets and preach?
God, help me to fall so deeply in love with You that I can’t help but overflow with stories of how real You really are. Help me recognize the unique ways you’ve created me to share Your love. Amen!
Just as God created us with unique DNA, unique gifts and a unique calling in life, we also have unique ways to share the Gospel. Do you know what the Gospel is? The Good News? (Need a refresher? Check back to “Kerygma [Proclamation].”)
We might not believe it, but the Good News is what every person is deeply longing to hear.
The enemy would love for us to believe the lie that everyone has heard the Gospel and made their choice, and so there’s no point for us to evangelise. In reality, according to reachbeyond.org more than 2 billion people have never heard the salvation message and 70,000 people die without Christ every day.
Some people may have a gift of evangelisation – sharing about Jesus is a fire in them they can’t ignore. While not all of us have this particular gift, or calling, all of us do have a commission from Jesus to share the Gospel.
“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, baptising 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 RSV Catholic Edition
At some point in our life, someone shared about Jesus with us, and gave us an opportunity to become a disciple of Jesus. It is easily the most wonderful and crucial gift anyone has given us, and we have both a responsibility as well as a desire to share this same gift with others.
The experience of evangelisation doesn’t end when we are baptised, however. Evangelism is a process – however long it might take until we (hopefully!) have our conversion. The Sacrament of Baptism is an essential element of committing our life completely to the Lord (conversion), but even after an initial conversion we are still on a faith journey. We will probably experience an ongoing call throughout our lives to recommit to Jesus as we recognise areas where we need to surrender to the Father, or forgiveness – and we recommit afresh all over again.
Even for ‘cradle Catholics’, people raised from birth in a practicing Catholic family, at some point in our life we need to intentionally commit our life to Jesus ourselves.
Have you chosen to intentionally follow Jesus as an adult? A life abandoned to Him is rich, full, fully alive – right now is the perfect time to commit to Jesus again, whether for the first or fiftieth time.
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