“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” — Red
The New Evangelization.
You’ve been hearing about it for years.
You’ve read about it, you’ve thought about it, and you’ve talked about it – a lot.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a sizable chunk of your life knowing that you are supposed to be living it, and you’ve spent almost as much time trying like mad to figure out how you are supposed to be living it.
Maybe you’ve even figured some of it out. Good job.
But until now, you’ve always had that lingering sense that you weren’t quite sure how you, God, and the New Evangelization were supposed to come together on a daily basis.
But now you have no more excuses.
Cardinal Francis George, by way of his small weekly bishop’s column, just told you, me, and every other Catholic everything we need to know about living the New Evangelization.
In short: Christ, joy, prayer, and the Eucharist.
“Pope Francis brings a new note to this proclamation of the Gospel: joy. He has famously written that one who speaks of Christ to others should not look like someone who has just returned from a funeral. Joy is a sign of the presence of the risen Christ, the Christ we proclaim in various ways, judging always how to present Christ so that people have a chance of hearing and obeying him.”
“Joy cannot be found in falsehood. A Jesus of our own invention cannot save. The true Jesus has risen from the dead. Free from all limitations, he acts now through the sacraments of the church. This is the connection between evangelization and Eucharist. We preach a Eucharistic Christ.”
“The Gospel is not simply a “message.” It is a presence, a presence that attracts and invites and brings us into union with God. Evangelization therefore begins with prayer, both personal and communal. From prayer, the evangelizer, united with Christ and his church, moves into the streets and spaces that need to be redeemed, contacting those whom Christ loves and waits for.”
“The going out will be tough. We live with those who actively resist conversion, who are part of an ‘anti-evangelizing campaign.’ Pope St. John Paul II wrote…’If in fact, on the one hand, the Gospel and evangelization are present in this world, on the other, there is also present a powerful antievangelization that is well organized and has the means to vigorously oppose the Gospel and evangelization.’ Alone, each of us will be overcome by the distractions and opposition of the day. Together, as Christ’s church, gathered into parish and other communities, we will be effective in offering human hospitality in the name of Christ. This will, we pray, eventually result in eucharistic hospitality, full communion in the faith that unites us to our eucharistic Lord.”